The VCFS and 22q11 Foundation supports families and persons affected by VCFS or Deletion 22q11.

THe VCFS 22q11 Foundation

Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) is a genetic syndrome. It is the result of a submicroscopic deletion on the long arm of Chromosome 22 in the “q11” region- deletion 22q11. VCFS affects approx. 1 in 2000 - 3000 persons making it the second most prevalent genetic syndrome after Down syndrome VCFS is the most common genetic syndrome associated with cleft palates VCFS is the second most common genetic syndrome associated with congenital heart defects 99% of the VCFS population will have a learning difficulty or disability 30% of the VCFS population will develop a mental illness VCFS has more than 180 annomolies associated with it The name velo cardio facial syndrome comes from the Latin words "velum" meaning palate, "cardio" meaning heart and "facies" having to do with the face.

Monday, March 28, 2011


As we know VCFS has many names and here is a list of the most common
  • Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome
  • 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome
  • DiGeorge Syndrome (DGS)
  • Shprintzen Syndrome
  • CATCH 22
  • Conotruncal anomaly face syndrome
  • Cayler cardiofacial syndrome
Whatever the name we are all in the same position; looking for information and support.
I have been chatting a lot lately to many different people and organizations from around the world and I must say it can be confusing trying to figure out who is who and which organizations are support groups or for research,  which are treatment programs and which ones are information/education organizations.
Well I have decided to group some of the main organisations so we know who is who of VCFS and 22q. There may be many more, however these are the ones I know. The information about each organisation has been taken directly from their websites and are not necessarily the views of the VCFS 22q11 Foundation or myself. I am not connected to any of these organisations except the VCFS 22q11 Foundation Australia of which I am president. I am a mother with a child who has VCFS/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.
I felt it important to separate the organisations to help us as parents understand what each organisation is for and what each can offer us as parents.

What I as a parent and President of the VCFS 22q11 Foundation would love to see in the future is all these groups coming together to form a collaborative or alliance to share information and treatments for the betterment of those affected and to assist in raising awareness of VCFS/22q across the international community.

Education Organizations

VCFS Education Foundationhttp://www.vcfsef.org/ 
The Foundation is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing support and information to individuals who are affected by Velo-Cardio-Facial syndrome, their families, physicians and other practitioners. The Foundation is independent of -- and not affiliated with -- any particular institution. The foundation is run by volunteers and the head of the foundation is currently Executive Director,  Karen J. Golding-Kushner, Ph.D.

The VCFSEF is the only group I can find that is absolutely for education and information of VCFS/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. They are Not for Profit. They have an international conference every year and everyone in the VCFS/22q community internationally is invited to present and attend the conference. They are NOT a support group; they are NOT a research or treatment group. Their mission is to increase awareness and disseminate information to educate those with an interest in the syndrome. They provide clinical and research information for professionals and for those affected, and provide educational, clinical, and scientific information to the professional and lay communities. They do not recommend any treatment program over another, they do not recommend any support group over another, they do not provide funding for research, and they do not offer financial assistance for any person or organisation.

It is important to understand that the VCFSEF is purely to provide Education and Information about VCFS/22q to the international community. They do this through their website, conferences and newsletters. 
To me this is one of the most important organisations in the world. They provide unbiased information to aid in the education of the community about VCFS/22q11.2 deletion Syndrome.  I personally would urge all people in the international VCFS community pay the USD$40 membership so the conferences can continue in the future.

Treatments/ Research Centers (in no particular order)

M.I.N.D Institute (UC Davis CA) http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/cabil/

The MIND Institute's Cognitive Analysis and Brain Imaging Laboratory (CABIL, pronounced "cable") is directed by Dr. Tony J. Simon and funded by the National Institutes of Health. CABIL's mission is to investigate, explain and eventually treat the impairments in cognitive function experienced by children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Upstate University Hospital NY http://www.upstate.edu/uh/ent/vcf/ 
VCFS Center

In 1997, Dr. Shprintzen established the most comprehensive program designed to assess the needs of people with VCFS and to develop the most effective treatments.  The Center has a faculty of over 30 professionals from more than 20 medical and ancillary disciplines who are devoted to the special needs of children and adults with this common genetic condition. The Center is a full time program with the most comprehensive care available anywhere and a large and active, full time research program devoted to this single disorder.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 22q and You Center 

At the "22q and You" Center — established in 1996 — The goal is to provide the finest diagnosis, treatment and follow-up services to these children and their families. They also continue to lead the way in researching the 22q11.2 deletion, hoping to find out more about what causes it, how it affects children and how we can make their lives even better.
The national and international medical community recognizes our Center as the premiere site for the diagnosis and multidisciplinary management of children with a chromosome 22q11.2 deletion. Our staff includes geneticists, genetic counselors and other medical personnel specializing in the disorder.

The VCFS Clinic at Mater – Brisbane Australia

The VCFS clinic at Mater has been developed to support children and young people to the age of 18 and their families. The clinic is co-ordinated through Kids in Mind and involves professionals from other parts of Mater Children’s Hospital.
The children and young people who attend the clinic may already be supported by other teams within Mater Children’s Hospital, other hospitals and other health professionals. The VCFS Clinic has been established to assist families coordinate their child’s care between a number of health practitioners while also helping to reduce gaps in services where they exist.
The clinic has two primary aims:
to provide coordination, clinical, and support services for children and their families
to have a significant research role in Australia and with international experts.
Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Specialty Clinic - Colorado http://www.thechildrenshospital.org/conditions/genetics/22q.aspx

The Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Specialty Clinic at The Children’s Hospital evaluates children with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome and provides comprehensive management and ongoing multi-disciplinary care for children and families affected by the syndrome. Our specially trained clinicians, who work with specialists at National Jewish Health, provide patients and families with the resources necessary to understand the diagnosis, determine the appropriate treatments and therapies and cope with the challenges involved with the syndrome.

I am sure there are other clinics across the international community. I have listed the most commonly known about clinics.

Support Groups
There are many groups around the world for the support of VCFS/22q11.

The VCFSEF has Regional Directors that can put you in contact with a support group in your area. http://www.vcfsef.org/international_network/about_international_network.html Visit the web site for information.

The VCFSEF United States Support groups Link http://www.vcfsef.org/support_groups/us_groups.html

The VCFSEF International Support Groups Link

As well as this here is a very short list of sites I know;

There are many Social Networking Groups and Chat rooms. I will not list them here; however some of the sites listed do have links to them.

There is much research being conducted across the world. Most of the websites listed above have links to the research projects.  To list them all here would be too difficult. The VCFSEF through the International Scientific Conference has speakers who provide information about the current research and outcomes. The smaller conferences around the world also provide information, results and outcomes as well. Keep yourself updated by regularly visiting the websites listed above.

Remember, support groups are NOT medical advisory groups or services; they are there to offer support and provide information. All medical treatment and related services should be referred through your medical practitioner and your medical care team.

I hope that the information I have given here is helpful and takes out confusion of the Who’s Who for VCFS and 22q.

Maria Kamper


1 comment:

  1. Please help us get our 22q11 baby girl to Australia for life saving heart surgery. #flyCaroline http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/08/05/18/45/vietnam-baby-siezure-hospital-treatment https://www.gofundme.com/babyCaroline