In the month of August 2012, the Williams Syndrome Family of Hope was able to assist numerous families with donations such as LeapPads, educational supplies, speech therapy services, and weighted blankets. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our area representatives or the generosity of our donors and partners. For this, we send a heart felt thank you! With fall upon us and the holidays quickly approaching, we would like to ask you to take a look at the Hope Store on the Williams Syndrome Family of Hope’s website. There you can get a kick start on your holiday shopping and find great gifts for family, friends, and teachers.

New Board of Directors

The Williams Syndrome Family of Hope is proud to announce that as of September 1, 2012, there will be a new Board of Directors serving the organization. The new Board of Directors includs:

  • President/CEO: Kelley Bedore
  • Vice President: Tricia Heyde
  • Secretary: Brandi Boyer
  • Treasurer: Tara Yanik
  • Director of Public Relations: Becki Poortinga
  • Assistant Director of Public Relations: Erika Messer
  • Director of Hope Representatives: Cheryl Ceasar

Each individual brings their own experience to the board that will benefit the organization. They are very excited to be working together and raising awareness of Williams syndrome.

Common Ailments Associated with Williams Syndrome

Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Sensorineural hearing loss is most often found in adults with Williams syndrome, but can be found in individuals as early as late childhood. It can range from mild to complete hearing loss, but is usually mild to moderate in individuals with Williams syndrome. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear, or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most of the time it cannot be medically or surgically corrected and is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.

Symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss may include:

  • Sounds heard are quieter, distorted, and less clear.
  • High tones are less audible.
  • The sounds “s”, “f”, and “z” are not heard.
  • Speech may be difficult to understand if there is background noise.
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo

Treatments for sensorineural hearing loss include hearing aides, and in extreme cases, cochlear implants.

September Events

Williams Syndrome Family Picnic
September 15, 2012
Meramec Springs State Park
St. James, MO
For more information, contact Brandi Boyer at

Take Me Out To The Ballgame (Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets)
September 29, 2012
Turner Field
Atlanta, GA
For more information, contact Kelley Bedore at

Williams Syndrome Family Picnic
September 15, 2012
Meaher State Park
Spanish Fort, AL
For more information, contact Searcy Kelly at


Jacob Herndon is our Spotlight of the month!

Jacob is 18 years old and started his senior year at Thomson High School in Thomson, GA. on August 10. He will be graduating with his classmates in March 2013. Although he is graduating, he will be continuing his education at Thomson High School until he is employed or placed in a work program.

Jacob’s interests include lawn and logging equipment, heavy machinery, and tractors. He enjoys listening to country music and one of his favorite television channels is CMT. His favorite shows include Hee Haw, How It’s Made, and Modern Marvels.

Jacob enjoys playing basketball and it’s his favorite sport to play in P.E. at school. He participates in the Georgia Special Olympics and has competed in bowling for the past five years. He also competes in his local Special Olympics in Fort Gordon, GA. every spring. He has won multiple medals and ribbons over the years.

The Williams Syndrome Family of Hope is proud to have Jacob and his family as a part of our family. We look forward to continue to watch Jacob continue his life journey and cannot wait to see what his future holds for him!!!

Organization: Williams Syndrome Family of Hope, Inc
Submitted by: Tricia Heyde