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Funding Jonathon's journey
Community turns out for fundraiser for teen with chromosome disorder
spaghetti supper munson
The fundraiser spaghetti dinner for Hillsboro teenager Jonathon Munson, who is battling a serious chromosome anomaly, drew plenty of hungry friends Saturday afternoon. - photo by Jack Knowles photo

Hillsboro teenager Jonathon Munson found out in a big way what a popular guy he is, as many friends and neighbors joined in a Fun Run/Walk at the Hillsboro High School Saturday afternoon and, afterward, a delicious spaghetti dinner and silent auction in the school cafeteria.

There appeared to be hundreds of nice, assorted items donated to the auction and just about all of them had at least one bid.
A couple of colorful, first-rate bird houses had everything you would expect in a new home...except new residents. This reporter wouldn’t be surprised if they have some by now.

Plenty of time and effort also went into several lovely quilts that were only missing someone to cover!

The dinner crowd looked like a “sea of green” as many folks wore a special shirt in honor of Jonathon, who has been battling a very serious illness since he was born.

The extremely rare chromosome anomaly called Phelan-McDermid Syndrome has been diagnosed in only about 1,000 people in the world. It can cause severe learning and communications disabilities, along with epileptic seizures.

Jonathon had been having difficulty with seizures for a while, but they have not occurred for two years, and he is no longer taking special medicine to prevent them.

Fourteen-year-old Jonathon, the son of Kevin and Tina Munson, attends a school in Mauston where he works on communication with others and enjoys art and physical education classes.

The Munson family hopes to learn more from the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation, an organization that is involved in ground-breaking research, including a link to autism.

The family joined the support group on-line, and that linked them to hundreds of other families facing similar situations. It was created by Dr. Katy Phelan and Dr. Heather McDermid, who formed the foundation.

That Foundation conducts an International Family Conference every two years, and in July of 2014, it will be held in Orlando, Florida.

The conference will include scientists, geneticists, doctors, and therapists, along with many families facing the same battle. It would offer the Munsons  a lifeline to the latest research and developments, along with a connection to similar families dealing with the disorder, and possible treatments leading to a better, healthier life for Jonathon.

Attending the conference and travel expenses for their entire family will amount to about $9,000, but it is a wonderful opportunity for an improved lifestyle for a youth who has touched the heartstrings of all who know him.

If you were not able to attend the walk/run event or the dinner and silent auction. but would still like to reach out and help a neighboring family continue to battle a very uncommon but life changing enemy, there is a website where donations are being accepted.

Just visit for the opportunity to help make a difference in a struggling, young boy’s future.

The Munson family is very appreciative for the folks who have joined them in this continuing battle through well wishes, prayers, and contributions.