Californians With Rare Obesity Disorder Gather For Walkathons

Published: Apr 06, 2018

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., April 6, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Prader-Willi California Foundation will hold its 18th Annual Walking for Prader-Willi Syndrome events on April 29 at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, May 5 at the Clovis Trail Fest, and June 2 at Lagoon Park in San Rafael to raise awareness of Prader-Willi syndrome.

Registration begins at 10:30 am; the WALKs start at 11:00 am; the fun lasts until 2:00 pm. The public is invited to pack a lunch and enjoy the music, face painting, and fun! Walk with us in person or support us online. Either way, be a part of something meaningful!

PWS is the most common genetic cause of obesity, affecting about 2,500 people in California. PWS impairs growth in infancy and interferes with overall development. In toddlerhood, PWS' hallmark symptom, hyperphagia, begins to develop causing an insatiable appetite and a drive to seek food that overrides one's ability to make choices for their own safety. At the same time the metabolism is reduced by almost half, requiring that persons with PWS receive drastically fewer calories despite their chronic hunger. Unmanaged, PWS causes morbid obesity and premature death. PWS is not an eating disorder; it results from missing genes and lasts throughout the individual's lifetime.

No known medication controls or even reduces the drive to eat. People with PWS cannot live independently because without 24/7 supervision for the entirety of their lives they will die prematurely as a result of choking, stomach rupture, complications caused by morbid obesity, or their often impulsive behavior.

While parents of someone with PWS experience some of the highest levels of stress, today there is hope. With an accurate diagnosis and appropriate supervised care, people with PWS can live healthier and happier lives.

Prader-Willi California Foundation is the only organization in California solely dedicated to providing education, support and advocacy services to Californians with PWS, their families, and professionals.

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