Yes, this is about Prader-Willi Syndrome, but give me a minute here. First, there are many great, important reasons to travel – to relax and take a break from workaday life, to explore natural wonders, to delve into different cultures near and far. I like my children to learn about the different ways people live in this world – and to know that there’s not just one “right” way to be. World travel isn’t the only thing that helps kids learn tolerance and acceptance, though. Sometimes, encouraging friendship with neighbors is all it takes.
A family very near us has a daughter my younger daughter’s age, and this cute, friendly girl has Prader-Willi Syndrome. This is a rare, complicated genetic disorder. She has a hard time learning new things. She is also kind and so sweet, absolutely outgoing and only thinks the best of people. My own kid’s friendship with her is pure — they play, annoy the family pets, and forget to clean up their toys. All the regular playdate stuff. We adore our neighboring family’s children (all of them) but know that this friendship is special in ways that are hard to define without getting too mushy.
This year, the Prader-Willi California Foundation’s annual Los Angeles Walkathon is today, in Van Nuys. The Vacation Gals are happy to contribute $100 to PWCF: The funds get put to crisis support, research, and education for families and healthcare practitioners.
Travel expands our children’s minds, yes. But knowing that other people grow up and move through the world with challenges that our kids don’t face, also expands their minds. My daughter is lucky to have a friend like our neighbors’ daughter, and we’re lucky, too.
The Vacation Gals encourage you to learn about Prader-Willi Syndrome. It’s rare, but there may be a Foundation chapter near you as well.