About Us


Gabi Conecker, MPH

President and Co-founder of the International SCN8A Alliance, DEE-P Connections and The Inchstone Project

Gabi is mom to Elliott, now 8 years old, who struggles with one of the most severe strains of SCN8A mutations. Gabi founded Wishes for Elliott to fight for better treatment and research even before Elliott was diagnosed with SCN8A at 15 months. At diagnosis, the family received the one published article on SCN8A in children offering little to no guidance on care, treatment, or prognosis. Even though she was still working full time building maternal/child health programs in sub-Saharan Africa and caring for a severely medically fragile child, she was inspired to bring the passion and urgency of SCN8a families to the nascent but growing community of SCN8A researchers and clinicians – and do everything possible to improve understanding for better treatment and outcomes for all SCN8A children.

View a video about the decision to launch their initial foundation, Wishes for Elliott.

JayEtta Hecker, MS

Board Chair and Co-founder of the International SCN8A Alliance, DEE-P Connections and The Inchstone Project. JayEtta is an economist who specialized in independent public policy analyses and held several positions with the National Academy of Sciences.

JayEtta trained and served in multiple federal agencies, including 25 years with the Congressional research arm, the Government Accountability Office. Elliott was her first grandchild and she was an active caregiver and partner in his diagnostic odyssey. She partnered with Gabi, her daughter, to form Wishes for Elliott to advance SCN8A research and create a lasting legacy for Elliott, who continues to serve as an inspiration with his pure love, connection, resilience, and joy.

JayEtta Pic

Shannon Guardiola

Shannon is our Community Outreach and Communications Specialist. She is a rare epilepsy mom whose warrior, Zoë - who passed away in 2024, continues to be her inspiration to give back to this community.