Shoppers of the Westerlay Orchids collection on July 12th from 9am-4:30pm can help support local non-profit The 17q12 Foundation. Carpinteria-based Westerlay Orchids pursues a straightforward mission to cultivate “the most stunning and highest quality orchids.” Now, the third-generation, family-owned business partners with The 17q12 Foundation to gain public awareness of, and provide financial support for, individuals suffering from a rare genetic syndrome.
Founded in 2017, the organization aims to serve the small but growing national community of individuals and families affected by a rare chromosomal disorder. Chromosome 17q12 microdeletion or microduplication syndrome result from missing or duplicate pieces of DNA in a person’s genetic code. Symptoms of these disorders vary but often include intellectual disability, developmental delay, behavioral challenges, and internal organ malformation or malfunction.
The 17q12 Foundation is volunteer-led by a team of four motivated parents and one genetic counselor. Together, the group hopes to maintain an ongoing and accurate registry of individuals affected and fund much-needed research about these syndromes, their causes, and possible effects. The foundation also strives to bring public awareness to a rare genetic anomaly which can drastically affect the lives and longevity of its host.
On Friday, July 12th, Westerlay Orchids joins in the fight, hosting a full-day fundraiser to benefit The 17q12 Foundation. From 9am to 4:30pm, 17% of all Westerlay Orchids retail shop purchases will go toward helping to discover more about chromosome 17q12 microdeletion or microduplication syndrome and funding essential resources for individuals and families seeking assistance in managing the symptoms of these genetic disorders.