Kelowna woman on a mission to raise awareness about son’s rare genetic condition

Sam Michiel is decided to make extra individuals privy to a uncommon genetic situation afflicting her son Lucas.

“What I need is any person sooner or later to say I’ve heard of this and that may imply the world to me,” Michiel advised International Information.

Eight-year-old Lucas was recognized with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS) when he was simply 16 months outdated.

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In accordance with the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Basis, as of December 2020, there have been solely 2,500 individuals worldwide that had reported a PMS analysis.

PMS is a genetic situation brought on by a deletion or change to the structural finish of a chromosome.

“You’re lacking part of your chromosome,” Michiel mentioned.

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In consequence, Lucas lives with a variety of challenges, together with an absence of steadiness.

Lucas was recognized with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome at 16 months outdated.


“When you by accident fall into him evenly, he falls,” Michiel mentioned.

“He drools as a result of he lacks muscle tone and he can’t management it after which his speech remains to be slurred as a result of he lacks hat muscle tone. He’s not writing. He nonetheless scribbles and we don’t know if he ever will.”

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With Worldwide Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Consciousness Day quick approaching, Michel is as soon as once more gearing as much as assist unfold consciousness.

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With inexperienced being the symbolic color for the syndrome, Michiel has bought greater than 100 inexperienced bandanas this yr.

She’s going to hand one out the bandanas to each Grade 3 scholar at Casorso Elementary, the place her son attends Grade 3, in addition to to employees.

She hopes it begins conversations about PMS and what it’s.

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Final yr, Michiel bought inexperienced lightbulbs and handed them out to anyone who needed to indicate their help on Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Day, which is Oct. 22.

She says a giant motive why it’s so necessary to assist elevate consciousness is as a result of there’s little to no funding for individuals with such a uncommon situation.

It wasn’t till her son was recognized with autism, a couple of yr after his PMS analysis, that Lucas grew to become eligible for help funding, she mentioned.

“The second any person says autism, everyone on the planet has heard of autism help. You get acknowledgement. Everyone is aware of autism,” she mentioned.

“The second you say Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, individuals are like, ‘I’ve by no means heard of it.’”

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Michiel mentioned simply because a situation is uncommon, it doesn’t imply funding shouldn’t be made accessible.

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve been recognized with, all of us matter, and if any person wants help, then they need to obtain,” Michiel mentioned.

“It doesn’t matter, it shouldn’t matter. Simply since you don’t know what it’s, it doesn’t imply my son doesn’t matter.”

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© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc. | Kelowna girl on a mission to boost consciousness about son’s uncommon genetic situation


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