The Landsmans are raising funds for their sons Benny and Josh to fight a rare disease.

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Groundbreaking treatment could save Brooklyn boys from rare disease

July 27, 2018 - 12:33 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- There is hope for a Brooklyn couple whose young sons were diagnosed with a life threatening illness.

One-year-old Josh and his two-year-old brother Benny could make medical history this fall by becoming the first children to undergo a potentially groundbreaking treatment to reverse a degenerative disease called Canavan.

WEB EXTRA: GoFundMe Help The Landsmans Save Benny And Josh

Their mom Jennie Landsman says the gene therapy has been tested in a lab for 20 years and has been successful in mice.

"They actually saw regeneration of brain cell growth," she said.

She and her husband Gary launched a GoFundMe page eight months ago to raise $1.5 million to fund the treatment -- they're at $1.2 million now.

"We believe that there is some greater purpose to why this is all happening," Gary said.

Once raised, the money will allow renowed neuroscientist Dr. Paola Leone, director of the Cell and Gene Therapy Center at Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in New Jersey and her team to finish their work in a treatment.

“The hope is that they will lead full, functional lives,” says Leone

PEOPLE reports the gene therapy has already been succesful in mice.

The potentially lifesaving therapy involves having a gentically engineered virus injected into their brains to produce white matter which should allow them to regain motor function.

The boys are happy and otherwise healthy, but have missed developmental milestones like rolling over.

Canavan disease is fatal, but with a cure in sight the Landsmans are full of hope.