Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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May 17, 2011

Walk brings awareness to Williams Syndrome

PLAINFIELD — Megan and Brandon Paschal of Plainfield hosted Nolan’s Walk at Hummel Park this weekend  to help educate the public about Williams Syndrome. Their youngest child, Nolan, 2 (almost 3), has been diagnosed with the syndrome and served as the grand marshal of the event.

”We had 119 register before today, but I’m expecting at least 200,” Megan Paschal said. “So many contacted us after the registration deadline.”

And she was right. More than 200 people came to the park to participate in the event. There were about a dozen children and a few adults with Williams Syndrome who took part.

”We even have one family coming from Kentucky,” Paschal said. “We think this is a really good turnout for the first time we’ve done this. The community has been very supportive. We’ve had lots of positive feedback and everyone has been so generous with things like door prizes.”

The Williams Syndrome Association began to promote Williams Syndrome Awareness Week last year, but this is the first event held in Hendricks County. There were activities and events held across the country to help promote awareness.

Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. Those with Williams have any number of medical problems including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. The problems occur along with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities, and an affinity for music.

Danielle Shockey of Fishers attended the event with her entire family, including her daughter, Alex, 6, who is a “Williams kid.”

”I know so many things are going on across the country it was nice to come and be a part of something locally,” Shockey said.

She said there are several challenged with having a Williams Syndrome child, but the worst is not knowing what the future will bring for her child.

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