PWSA Blog

Donor Spotlight: Steve Leightman

PWSA | USA is special because of YOU, our donors, who passionately give to support our mission. It is because of your generous gifts that we can provide help and hope through family support, advocacy, and research efforts. To celebrate and honor your generosity, each month we will spotlight a donor and their story showcasing the dedication, gratitude, and optimism that defines us as a PWS community!

Our October Donor Spotlight is Steve Leightman, who has been an incredible supporter of PWSA | USA over the years. Steve was a member of PWSA | USA's Board of Directors and currently volunteers for the association's Fund Development Committee. He is also a grandparent to Joslyn (19) who is living with PWS.

Steve shares his family's journey with PWS, what motives him to donate, and some helpful advice for other grandparents navigating their own PWS journey below.

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Q: When did you learn about Joslyn's PWS diagnosis?

A: Joslyn’s journey began at birth, when my wife said “something is wrong with the baby," and the never-ending search for answers started. First with the doctors at the hospital, then with a call to PWSA | USA. Today the search continues. At first our focus was whether she would live, but now it is HOW she will live, due to intervention from high school in 2020.  

Q: What motivates you to donate to our organization?  

A: Our first contact with the Association came at a time of great angst for our entire family. Throughout my 19 year history in various roles with PWSA | USA, I found needed support and a need to “give back” to others some of the gifts afforded to me.

Q: How did you learn about PWSA | USA?  

A: Once we received Joslyn's diagnosis, we found PWSA | USA via the website.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to share with other families, or any advice you would like to give?  

A: A grandparent does not carry the burden of a parent with a Prader-Willi child, BUT we have an extra layer of concern – our granddaughter AND our daughter. Our experience is to always be there for support, to look to a future brighter than we foresaw two decades ago, and to cherish every day we have together. We understand the limits and challenges PWS presents, BUT we try to  remember that PWS does NOT define Josi any more than being too tall or too short defines anyone. Josi is a young woman with unique talents who just happens to have PWS. There is more to this story as new chapters get written every day.

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