Ceres high schools unite to benefit ill child

Teens in the Newsroom programMay 21, 2014 

To raise money for a little boy who was diagnosed with a rare gene deletion syndrome, teachers from Central Valley and Ceres high schools will compete in a basketball game May 28 sponsored by the schools’ booster clubs.

Kase Reynolds, who recently turned 1, has been diagnosed with a rare gene deletion syndrome called 5q14.3 microdeletion syndrome. The gene deletion syndrome is extremely rare, with no cure, and doctors have very limited treatment options to control its effects.

According to a news release to promote the event, Kase “has hypotonia (low muscle tone), which requires a lot of physical therapy, oral motor therapy (eating and swallowing), pulmonary care (issues with lungs, especially when sick), a vision impairment called CVI, and Kase struggles with a seizure disorder that causes him to have up to 200 myoclonic seizures per day. He has tried three seizure meds that have not worked and is currently a pioneer in a new type of natural medication.”

Inspired by a similar charity event held in 2006, the Ceres and Central Valley booster clubs have partnered to raise money for the Reynolds family to assist with financial burdens related to Kase’s medical treatments.

His parents, Mike and Katherine Reynolds, both have worked at Ceres Unified schools. Mike works at Central Valley High as a special-education teacher and coaches the track and cross country teams. Katherine taught dance at Central Valley High and César Chavez Junior High. She left those jobs prior to Kase’s birth, to focus on her 3-year-old daughter, Kylie, and Kase.

The response from both schools has been extremely positive. “As of right now, many students are telling me they are attending. Our students want to help the Reynolds family as much as they can,” said Veronica Villa, who teaches at Central Valley High and is one of the organizers of the event.

The response from teachers has also been positive, with many volunteering to help at the event and others volunteering to play the game. Those who are playing will “have a few practices this week, but other than that, the teams will just go out and have fun!” Villa said.

The basketball game will be at 7 p.m. at Central Valley High School, 4033 Central Ave. in Ceres. Admission is $5. There will be a food court and silent auction starting at 5 p.m. The silent auction will end during the first quarter of the game, and winning bids will be announced during halftime.

Also during halftime, the dance and cheerleading teams of both schools will provide entertainment, and a dessert silent auction will be held. All proceeds of the event will be given to the Reynolds family.

People who cannot attend the event but wish to donate money can contact Angela Durossette at Ceres High School, at adurossette@ceres.k12.ca.us, or Veronica Villa at Central Valley High School, at vgiddens@ceres.k12.ca.us. All donations are tax-deductible, and the tax ID for the event is 20-27052359.

Nick Mitchell is a sophomore at Central Valley High School and a member of The Bee’s Teens in the Newsroom program.

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