Hot Springs Teen Donates $30,000 To Open UAMS Genetics Library

By: From Staff Reports – The Sentinel-Record



LITTLE ROCK ? A library of resource materials for patients with genetic disorders and their families was dedicated on Friday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences? Medical Genetics Clinic in honor of donor Kye Masino, a Hot Springs eighth-grader.

The Kye Masino Family Resource Library was stocked with materials bought with a $30,000 donation from Kye-YAC International, a charity founded by Masino that gives to programs benefiting young people.

Located in Freeway Medical Tower with the Medical Genetics Clinic, the library provides books and materials to help patients and their families better understand genetic disorders and how to cope with them.

The clinic offers evaluation, testing, genetic counseling and ongoing patient care for adults and adolescents, including those with Down syndrome.

?We?re incredibly grateful,? said Dr. Bradley Schaefer, chief of the UAMS Division of Genetics. ?A gift like this allows us to put these resources into the hands of people who might not have had them available.?

Schaefer said Masino, who has an interest in genetics, decided to help the library after the two were introduced by mutual friend Dorothy Morris, of Hot Springs. They discussed several areas in which Kye-YAC might help the Medical Genetics Clinic. The need for a family library was the one that seemed to appeal most to Masino, Schaefer said. After all, it was family that led to the beginning of Kye-YAC International.

Masino’s grandmother, Nancy Masino, died suddenly during the Christmas season in 2007. As a tribute to her, Masino’s family created an endowment through the Hot Springs Area Community Foundation, which later developed into Kye-YAC International.

Masino leads the all-youth board, the Youth Advisory Council, which researches and chooses children’s charities to support. Kye-YAC’s goal is to achieve ?a future in which kids in Arkansas are joining to create a better tomorrow.? Through fundraising events and donations, the nonprofit organization raised more than $100,000 in charitable giving for Arkansas youth.

Dr. Kent McKelvey, head of the division’s Adult Genetics Section, was also at the library dedication. The library has been outfitted with furniture and shelving, books, resource materials and a computer terminal for families to use. Typically, money from grants and donations isn?t available to pay for patient materials, he said.

The library has materials families can take with them to help educate other loved ones about medical genetics.

?The library is there to help them share with other family members,? Schaefer said. ?For instance, we talk to parents about their child, and then the grandparents ask what we said. These are the sort of materials they can show and lend to other families members, so they are informed as well.?


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