Marci became involved with RSRT when her daughter, Gabriela (Gaby), was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in 2010. Gaby was diagnosed with autism around the age of 3, but Marci never felt Gaby fit that diagnosis. For years she researched and met with specialists, both in the United States and abroad, to find answers. Finally, through a blood test, Gaby was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome at the age of 17. Marci immediately began researching Rett Syndrome to educate herself and see how she could to help raise awareness and money to find a cure. For the first time, the Valner family felt there was hope and something they could do to help Gaby and so many girls suffering from this terrible disorder.
Marci was introduced to Heidi Epstein, a trustee of RSRT and Monica Coenraads. RSRT’s research focused and the passion of RSRT’s trustees convinced Marci that a cure for Rett is on the horizon and that RSRT will lead the way. Marci and Heidi soon joined forces to chair the Hope for Hannah & Gaby Gala in Los Angeles. The event has become the most successful Rett fundraiser in the world raising over $900,000 in 2015.
She is married to Rudy and has 3 adult children, Danielle, Alex, and Gaby.