Fun Day at the Zoo for Those Dealing with 22q
“It was just a great day all around,” said Dr. Robert Marion, professor of pediatrics and of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health at Einstein, and chief of genetics at Montefiore. The occasion was the “22q at the Zoo” gathering at the Bronx Zoo on Saturday, May 19, for families with children affected with the rare disease 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.
A true collaboration between the hospital and medical school, the outing also included the medical student group Einstein Buddies as well as staff and faculty from the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Montefiore, the Montefiore and Einstein pediatrics-genetics division, and the department of genetics. In all, approximately a crowd of 50 came together to enjoy a day at the zoo.
The annual event, held at Einstein’s Bronx neighbor (as well as at other locations worldwide), is a way for families dealing with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome—also known as DiGeorge syndrome—to get to know other families whose children have the rare disease, and to have some fun with the healthcare providers and researchers who seek to understand its symptoms and find a cure.
“We usually see these families at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore under less than happy circumstances, and to have a chance to see them enjoying a beautiful day at the zoo... it was a wonderful experience,” said Dr. Marion. “And the fact that so many members of our clinical team came to share the day with the families was extremely gratifying.”
“It was great to talk with many of the parents, especially those that drove hours with their family to be a part of the 22q@ the Zoo,” added Dr. Bernice Morrow, professor of genetics, of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health, and of pediatrics, whose laboratory conducts research into the disorder. “It was a picture-perfect day and all the children enjoyed the activities we provided for them, while their parents got to meet each other and share their personal stories.”
Harboring Hearts, an organization that supports heart patients and their families, provided funding for the outing. Among the symptoms that children with “22q” experience are heart abnormalities, which are usually present from birth. These can be accompanied by other issues, including cleft palate, distinctive facial features, issues with their immune system, and/or developmental delays.
Posted on: Thursday, June 27, 2019