Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have extraordinary gifts, but not many people understand the unique challenges they face everyday.
During a full week of activities in May, volunteers for the Williams Syndrome Association will work hard to inform the community and others across the country about Williams syndrome.
According to the WSA, Williams syndrome is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. The disorder is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities. These occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.
WS affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide â?? an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States. It is known to occur equally in both males and females and in every culture.
As part of the WS Awareness Week, a Walk for Williams will take place in more than 50 locations throughout the country. Locally, a walk will be held on May 19 at Grace United Methodist Church & Woodland Park in Perrysburg from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Register: Walk for Williams
Families who have been affected by Williams syndrome will gather with supporters to spread the word about the disorder and raise critical funding for programs.
Children with WS need costly and ongoing medical care, and early intervention care (such as speech or occupational therapy) that may not be covered by insurance or state funding. As they grow, they struggle with things like spatial relations, numbers and abstract reasoning, which can make daily tasks a challenge. Additionally, their overfriendly personalities and tendency to think everyone is a friend can put them at risk in the community.
Local residents are encouraged to come out and support families affected by Williams syndrome and the WSA. Activities on the day of the walk include lunch, games, music and other activities. Anyone who would like more information about this event is urged to contact Michelle Self at firstname.lastname@example.org or the event website.