Dominican Green Game A Family Affair That Raises Awareness About Rare Genetic Disorder

Members of the Ellis family at the February St. Mary’s Dominican High School Green Game in honor of Andrew Ellis are (from left), Dominican senior and basketball team member Katherine Ellis, Dominican 10th grader Ellen Ellis, Michael Ellis, family friend Michael Ziifle holding Andrew Ellis, Peter Ellis, Thomas Ellis, Mary Ellis, and parents Dottie and Mike Ellis. To learn more about Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, visit

When St. Mary’s Dominican High School took to the home court for the annual basketball Green Game, team spirit was raised and also awareness about Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS), a rare genetic disorder.

Leading that awareness has been the Ellis family whose son Andrew was diagnosed with the syndrome nine months after his birth. Passionate advocates for Andrew who turns six in March, the family members also are advocates for the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation (PMSF), the largest patient advocacy group for PMS in the world. The foundation was established to provide critical information and support to empower families affected by this rare condition. Scientists estimate it occurs in about 2 to 10 of every 1 million live births. However, the condition can be difficult to detect, so it goes underdiagnosed. It has been diagnosed in approximately 3,500 people worldwide.

Basketball Coach Ashlee Juhas said this year Dominican expanded its fundraising for the Green Game. “For the past couple of years, we have been raising awareness at the Green Game. This year we wanted to raise money for the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation. We received several donations for raffle gifts from parents of our students, as well as having members of all three basketball teams working the bake sale during lunch and before the game. This year we raised more than $4,000 which is amazing!” she said.

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