Tony woman brings awareness to rare genetic condition with first pitch at Brewer’s game
TONY, Wis. (WEAU) - Kim Verdegan, a Tony woman, walks up to the mound at American Family Field Monday.
“I was feeling very very nervous the whole time,” said Kim.
She winds up for the pitch, throws the pitch and the crowd goes wild.
The crowd also learns something else about Kim.
“When she was a year old, she was diagnosed with William’s Syndrome. Just on the way she looked. They all have the same kind of characteristics,” said Diana, Kim’s mother.
William’s Syndrome is a rare genetic condition that affects the heart and mind among other things.
It is brought on by a spontaneous microdeletion of Chromosome 7, according to the William’s Syndrome Association. These days, the condition can be detected with a blood test.
“And now, they know of like almost 30,000 people with William’s Syndrome in the United States. Back in 1982, they knew of 90,” said Diana.
Monday’s first pitch was special for not only Kim, but a group of her peers living with the same condition.
“We brought kids out there that have William’s. There were 7 or 8 other kids,” said Larry, Kim’s father.
In addition to them, friends and family showed their support.
That sense of community is something Kim’s parents appreciate.
“You know, it’s a lonely feeling to have a kid that has a disability. It’s confusing,” said Larry.
Kim on the other hand is anything but lonely.
Having dealt with bullying growing up, now in her 30′s she’s found a community that has embraced her.
Diana and Larry say they are just known simply as “Kim’s mom and dad.”
“We went to a baseball game in New Auburn about two weeks ago. We stop at a convenience store and we walk in. The clerk says ‘hi, Kim.’ I mean, an hour away? I don’t know how she knows so many people,” said Larry.
Speaking of Baseball, a highlight from the game was watching Rowdy Tallez put on a William’s Syndrome awareness T-shirt.
“Makes me want to cry, but I can’t. He is a hero in my... heart,” said Kim.
Back on the mound, Kim’s thoughts on the experience.
“Amazing! Go Brewers!” said Kim.
Diana said the first pitch was made possible with the help of former Brewer’s player Tim Dillard. He got her connected to the team to arrange the pitch.
She also said the William’s Syndrome Association is helpful for those with the condition and their families.
There is a conference set for Phoenix, AZ next year, according to Diana.
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