Lindley helping fight Prader-Willi syndrome

Leta Lindley promised to put a box of tissues on each table at the luncheon for her charity event. Most people have never heard of Prader-Willi syndrome, but once they do it breaks their hearts.

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Leta Lindley is working to combat Prader-Willi syndrome.

Lindley met 8-year-old Josi Levine through the LPGA several years ago when she was asked to participate in a pro-am event that raised funds for Prader-Willi. The genetic disorder results in short stature, incomplete sexual development and an insatiable appitite that often leads to life-threatening obesity. Parents literally have to lock the fridge and cupboards to keep children from eating themselves to death.

“These children have no sense of fullness,” said Lindley, a petite mother of two. “They could eat a turkey dinner for 15 people and think they haven’t had a morsel.”

The Prader-Willi Annual Golf Classic was started by Ira and Ronnie Levine, Josi’s grandparents, who happen to be members at PGA National in West Palm Beach, Fla. Lindley attached her name to the event in 2009 and brought in several LPGA friends to help raise $65,000.

This year’s event was held Monday and featured players such as Brittany Lincicome, Kristy McPherson, Meg Mallon, Beth Daniel and Jill McGill.

Their slogan – Stop Josi’s Hunger – sounds like a Third World problem but the disease knows no socio-economic bounds. Prader-Willi effects both genders and all races, though only 1 in 15,000 children are diagnosed.

As Lindley will tell you, even one child is too many.

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