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Prader Willi Syndrome Association goes Kayaking!

We had our FINAL kayaking program of the season on September 9th and although clouds rolled in and everyone wore fleece jackets, it was still an awesome day to be on the water and make connections with a new-to-Waypoint group! What a perfect way to end!

The Prader Willi Syndrome Association of New England (PWSANE) supports families and individuals with PWS living in the New England area and although you might think the bulk of their resources are centered around educating families and making connections, they value the role of Adventure Education and want their participants to experience adventure programming! Six young adults came kayaking at Lake Cochituate in Wayland and felt the importance of experiencing adventure, had fun connecting with peers who have PWS, and even got to compete in an on-the-water-kayaking-tug-of-war game!

And it was a benefit for parents too! One mom commented that the thing she learned from the experience was “that it was ok to just let them go!” While the 6 teens paddled away, moms and dads stayed on shore on beautiful Wayland Town Beach and got to connect and have the half-day to themselves.

But what is Prader-Willi Syndrome? Although you may have never heard the term, it’s one of the most common non-inherited genetic conditions linked to obesity to date. From Prader-Willi Syndrome, PWS is a complex genetic disorder affecting appetite, growth, metabolism, cognitive function, and behavior. It can cause low muscle-tone and chronic feelings of insatiable hunger. The hypothalamus is compromised so the individual never feels full after eating. The cause is yet to be known, but it’s estimated that about one in 15,000 people have PWS.

Check out pictures from our awesome day!

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