Elementary school celebrates Kleefstra Awareness Day

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Kim Murin, a special education teacher at Manasquan Elementary School, and Raymond Anderson wear purple to celebrate Kleefstra Awareness Day on Thursday, Sept. 17. COURTESY OF MAUREEN ANDERSON

MANASQUAN — In a show of support for 4-year-old Raymond Anderson, Manasquan Elementary School students and staff donned the color purple on Thursday, Sept. 17 in honor of Kleefstra Awareness Day.

According to Raymond’s mother, Maureen Anderson, Raymond was born with Kleefstra syndrome — a rare genetic abnormality, which caused a deletion in his ninth chromosome.

When Raymond was born he was only one of 500 diagnosed with Kleefstra syndrome. Now at 4 years old, he is one of 1,000, which Ms. Anderson attributed to increased testing.

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As done last year, the Manasquan Elementary School celebrated Raymond on Sept. 17, bringing extra attention to Kleefstra syndrome.

“We had great participation,” said Kim Murin, a special education teacher who spends the school day with Raymond. “I think it’s important and it’s heartwarming, and it makes a difference.”

“It was really a sea of purple in Manasquan. It was neat to see the entire school community come out in support of him and his family, and what he means to us,” she said. “Obviously we make Kleefstra Awareness Day extra special, but we really celebrate Raymond every day.”

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