Newberry Elementary students gain understanding about Treacher Collins Syndrome

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First graders at Newberry Elementary recently read a book based on a child with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the development of facial bones and tissues.

On Tuesday, a child who lives in Alachua County and was born with the rare condition paid them a visit. One-year-old Finlee June was greeted by 130 excited first graders.

Finlee and her mother, Lorin Messer, met with the students to raise awareness about the condition.

For the past few weeks, Newberry Elementary students have been learning about the genetic disorder, which affects about 1 in every 50,000 newborns worldwide.

“We’re All Wonders” by R.J. Palacio is a New York Times bestseller that tells the story of a boy whose face sets him apart from other children. The book deals with embracing kindness and friendship.

The students were able to interact with Finlee and ask her parents valuable questions.

The book is being read by each first grade class at the school. Finlee and her older sister expect to attend Newberry Elementary as soon as they are of age.

Newberry Elementary students play ball with 1-year-old Finlee June, who visited the school on Tuesday with her mother, Lorin Messer. (Tyler Carmona/WUFT News)

About Tyler Carmona

Tyler is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing Follow him on Twitter @tylercarmona.

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