My name is Laci Wright, and I am a sophomore at Justin Garza High School, a brand-new high school located in Fresno, California. 22q11.2 is a condition that is not known and recognized by many people, which is why I am writing this story – to promote a project that I am beginning this year, 2022.

First, you should know some background about why I want to spread awareness for 22q in the first place. My older brother Elijah suffers from 22q11.2 duplication syndrome, which is common but not widely known. The lack of knowledge about this genetic condition makes it difficult for those who suffer from it to get the help and support they need every day. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), “22q11.2 duplication syndrome is a condition caused by an extra copy of a small piece of chromosome 22.” 22q affects my brother in so many ways every day, and I want to do something to help. Since it is 2022, it’s the perfect year for me to do my part to help those with 22q.The project that I am beginning is called the 22qCrew Awareness Project, and it will take place later this year.

First, I am asking various athletes from various sports for the month of November 2022 (22q Awareness Month), display the International 22q11.2 Foundation logo on their cleats, jersey, etc. for each game they have that month.

Secondly, I am asking the athletes to use their social media to share with everyone why they are displaying the logo, some basic information about what 22q is, and how everyone can help support the Foundation.

My overall goal is to select athletes who are the #22 to help with this important project. Those who join will be a part of the 22qCrew, raising awareness for the condition. This project will mainly focus on 22q Duplication, because that is what my brother has, and it is less known.

I am really hoping that this project will be a success, because it is something I have put a lot of time and effort into, but more importantly, I believe it is essential to spread awareness for 22q so that my brother and all who suffer from the condition can get the help & support they need. I have already contacted various athletes in numerous ways, but I have struggled to get results that I need. While working on this project, I have learned a lot – especially patience. I am grateful for those who took me seriously in my emails, and I truly believe that because of those people who trust what I am capable of, this project will be a success. I am currently trying to find new and unique ways to get the word out to the athletes I need to hear from, but I have learned that it is not easy. I am so excited to see what I can do for those with 22q with this awareness campaign!

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. I truly appreciate it.  Laci can be reached at aewright2025@gmail.com

– Laci Wright

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