SACRAMENTO — The California Senate has unanimously approved Senate Resolution 28, establishing May 2019 as Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month in the state, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Monday.
“Kiran Dong, an energetic and precocious 8-year-old from Valencia, was selected to light the Capitol Christmas Tree last December,” Wilk said in a statement. “Kiran has Prader-Willi Syndrome. Prior to the tree lighting, I visited him in his classroom at Tesoro Del Valle Elementary School while the students made a gift for Governor Brown. Kiran’s parents and teachers explained the need for increased awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome if we ever hope to find a cause and/or a cure.
“Fast forward to today, and we are one step closer to making a difference in the lives of the people affected by the disorder,” Wilk said.
Prader-Willi Syndrome, or PWS, is a congenital genetic disorder that affects growth, behavior, metabolism and appetite. PWS leads to weaker muscle and sexual development and a chronic, insatiable feeling of hunger. This often leads to overeating and is the most common genetic cause of morbid obesity.
There are treatments for the effects of PWS, but as of now, there is no known cause and no known cure. While there have been some advances in treating the disorder, plenty of research remains to be done before a cure is found, according to the Prader-Willi California Foundation.
“If we are to make real progress on groundbreaking treatments and an eventual cure, we have to take this first step of raising awareness,” Wilk said. “We really can make a difference in Kiran’s life and the lives of others who are affected by this disorder.”