MSU College of Education hosts first CHARGE family gathering

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

CHARGE Family Gathering

STARKVILLE, Miss.— Seven families from around Mississippi took part in the College of Education’s first-ever CHARGE Syndrome family gathering.

The gathering, held September 21 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville, was the first of its kind for MSU’s CHARGE Lab and wouldn’t have been possible without a donation from the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities. This event was also the first time many of the families with loved ones diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome met.

“I’ve always wanted to do a family gathering in Mississippi.  When the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation announced September 21st as a Day of Remembrance, I knew it was the perfect opportunity.”  Kasee Stratton-Gadke, director of MSU’s Bulldog CHARGE Syndrome Research Lab, said.

During the gathering, Stratton-Gadke talked with the families about resources around the state that could benefit them and their children, but she stressed that because the CHARGE Syndrome community is so small, the most important reason for the gathering was the relationships that could be made there.

“Until you feel like someone else is going through the same situation, it can feel like you’re isolated. So it’s essential for families to know they aren’t alone and that other families are going through a journey that is similar to their own.  I want our families in Mississippi to know they just joined a large, supportive, extended family,” Stratton-Gadke said.

CHARGE Syndrome refers to a specific set of congenital disabilities, medical problems and developmental issues that occurs in one in every 10,000-15,000 births. Most individuals with CHARGE have difficulty with hearing, vision and balance, and some have decreased cognitive and adaptive abilities.

Mississippi State University is home to one of only two labs in the nation conducting groundbreaking research on CHARGE syndrome. Students gain hands-on experience and knowledge about this complex condition while researching ways to improve the quality of life for those with CHARGE.

For more information about CHARGE syndrome and Mississippi State’s CHARGE SYNDROME lab visit and

Established in 1903, MSU’s College of Education is now home to six academic departments, one research unit and numerous service units.

For more about the college, visit //

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at 

Photo by: Camille Carskadon



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