It’s no secret that FPWR is an organization that is recognized internationally. This doesn’t happen without the efforts of amazing parents around the world who choose to be proactive and spread awareness; parents like Rachel Hansen.

Rachel who is originally from San Diego lives in Paris, France with her husband and two children, Elias and Pablo. Their beautiful 5-year-old son with Prader-Willi Syndrome, Pablo, has given Rachel the inspiration to raise awareness in France. When she learned of Pablo’s diagnosis at two weeks old, she dealt with the initial shock and immediately began to research the syndrome and reached out for support. It didn’t take her very long to dive right in and become an active member of the PWS community. After attending her first One SMALL Step walk in San Diego, she began planning to host her own walk in Paris.

Rachel has been a huge asset in sharing information with our French speaking parents. Rachel attended her first FPWR conference in 2009 as a delegate of Prader-Willi France and brought a wealth of information back to the French organization. She has also reached out to French-speaking parents to help her translate the One SMALL Step website so it could serve as a resource for PWS parents in France. The walk locations are growing in France thanks to Rachel and her awareness campaign. Despite the challenges of fundraising in France where there is far more skepticism, she has gotten the French to recognize our organization, and now many of them are thrilled to help! The t-shirts in France even read “Un PETIT Pas” now! Rachel met another amazing parent, Caroline Richard (mother to twin boys, both with PWS), and they are now planning the third walk in Paris together! The walk locations have increased from one to FIVE locations, PLUS a virtual walk!! Thank you for ALL your hard work, Rachel!

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