A fun event involving exercising to the sound of club classics in the dark has shone a light on the Williams Syndrome Foundation.
Eden Community Centre in Carrickfergus was the venue recently for a ‘I’m clubbercising for Williams Syndrome’ charity event to raise funds for and awareness of Williams syndrome.
One local woman firmly behind the fundraiser was Claire Bell whose son Daniel has Williams Syndrome.
She told the Times: “We raised £700 for the Williams Syndrome Foundation!
“What is clubbercise you may ask? It’s a keep fit class led by Clubbercise Caroline NI totally in the dark with glow sticks and club classics from the 90s right up to current hits. It was an amazing way to put the fun in fundraiser and to get the awareness out for Williams Syndrome which is such a rare but real life altering genetic condition.”
Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. It is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning challenges which often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.
Most people with Williams syndrome will have mild to severe learning differences and cognitive challenges. Young children with Williams syndrome often experience developmental delays. Milestones such as walking, talking and toilet training are often achieved somewhat later than is considered normal. Distractibility is a common problem in mid-childhood, which can improve as the children get older. Older kids and adults with Williams’ often demonstrate intellectual ‘strengths and weaknesses’. There are some intellectual areas (such as speech, long term memory, and social skills) in which performance is quite strong, while other intellectual areas (such as fine motor and spatial relations) show significant weakness.
Claire stated: “Williams Syndrome affects roughly one in every 18,000 live births each year and there is an estimated 3,500 people with Williams Syndrome in the UK. My son Daniel, who recently turned two, was diagnosed a week before his first Christmas.
“It is characterized by serious medical conditions like heart defects, learning disabilities and development delays. Counteracting this, Williams syndrome people are known for their infectious smiles and love for life. They face such hard times in life and not through choice. They are super resilient and could show people a trick or two about how to look at life. They are commonly referred to as warriors and definitely live up to that name!”