Williams syndrome is a genetic condition that is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities. These occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.

A walk to raise awareness of Williams syndrome and bring in money for research will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 30, at Zephyr Field, 6000 Airline Drive, in Metairie. Tara Nunez Smith is organizing the local walk, which will include a band, free food and lots of kid-friendly activities.

May is WS Awareness Month. People with Williams syndrome have extraordinary gifts and unique challenges. Williams syndrome affects one in 10,000 people worldwide — an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these individuals are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Proper diagnosis is critical to acquiring the medical, therapeutic and educational treatments and strategies that dramatically improve the life of an individual with WS.

Children with Williams need costly and ongoing medical care, and early interventions such as speech or occupational therapy, that may not be covered by insurance or state funding. As they grow, they struggle with things such as spatial relations, numbers and abstract reasoning, which can make daily tasks a challenge.

The Williams Syndrome Association is the most comprehensive resource for people and families living with Williams syndrome as well as doctors, researchers and educators. The WSA provides resources, support and the latest medical information to help children with WS today and throughout their lives. Awareness month activities will help fund the Williams Syndrome Association’s research, medical emergency and scholarship funds.

For information about this event or to obtain a pledge form, visit www.williams-syndrome.org/metairie. For information about Williams syndrome go to williams-syndrome. org.