Fun walk to raise funds, awareness for rare disorder

Olivia Brewster holds her 3-year-old son, Wyatt, who is the inspiration for the CSA Family Walk that is set May 19 at Mills Park in Bryant. The walk will raise funds and awareness for Christianson Syndrome. Wyatt is one of only two children in the state to be diagnosed with the genetic disorder.
Elisha Morrison
Staff Writer

The Get Your Heart Beating for CSA Family Fun Walk will raise funds and awareness for a rare genetic disorder May 19 at Mills Park in Bryant.

Check in is 8 a.m. with the walk beginning at 9 a.m. Olivia Brewster, organizer for the walk, said the event will be “very relaxed.” Walkers can walk around the park once or multiple times. Brewster’s son, Wyatt, was diagnosed with Christianson Syndrome before he turned 2.

Brewster said CS is a genetic disorder that affects boys. It affects brain development and attacks the nervous system causing those afflicted to be nonverbal, have trouble with movement and balance and experience seizures. Wyatt has a rarer symptom where his eyes are affected by the disorder. Brewster said CS was first diagnosed in Texas in 2008.

The mother of that boy started the Christianson Syndrome Association. Only about 200 boys around the world have been diagnosed with the disorder. She said some are misdiagnosed with autism or another rare disorder known as Angelman Syndrome.

She said more and more doctors are learning about CS and testing for it. It took the Brewsters about six month from the time they realized there was a problem to receive Wyatt’s diagnosis. He is one of only two in Arkansas to be diagnosed. This year will be the second fun walk. Last year’s event was smaller due to rain. If it rains this year, it will be moved indoors at The Center at Bishop Park.

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for CS and funds for research and to fund conferences. Brewster said the conferences are a chance to get scientists to meet the boys, do their research and share the latest information with parents. Brewster said much of the research is focused on alleviating symptoms but believes scientists are working toward a cure.

The cost to participate in the walk is $25 a person and includes a T-shirt. Brewster said anyone walking needs to be registered as well. Walkers can register through the day before the walk but are not guaranteed a shirt. Virtual walkers can sign up and tag a photo to the CSA Facebook page. Donations will also be accepted through the CSA Cares website, which also has more information about the disease. Wyatt is featured on the site.

To register, visit and click Get Your Heart Beating. Enter team name WyWysWarriors. “It is just showing up, show support for Wyatt, showing support for CSA and get the awareness out there,” Brewster said.