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3 Famous People With Williams Syndrome and How They Live a Happy Life

Williams syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body, the internet is wondering if there are any famous people affected by Williams syndrome, well, there are some!

Williams syndrome, also known as Williams-Beuren syndrome, is a genetic condition that affects various parts of the body. For instance, individuals with this disorder may have a specific facial appearance, such as a wide forehead, underdeveloped chin, short nose, and plump cheeks. 

In addition to that, they may experience difficulty with visual-spatial tasks but tend to have well-developed social skills. People with Williams syndrome tend to be sociable and have a happy attitude and an overall positive vibe. They may also face health problems such as dental issues, heart conditions, and high blood calcium levels.

Some famous people are suffering from Williams syndrome, however, the number is low.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the causes and possible treatments (if any) of Williams syndrome, and introduce you to some of the famous people with Williams syndrome.


Walliams Syndrome Affecting Famous People

Some famous people with Williams syndrome are living a potentially normal life. As this article mainly focuses on famous people with the condition, let’s talk about how some of the famous people with Williams syndrome are living their lives:

Gabrielle Marion-Rivard

Williams Syndrome Famous People, Gabrielle Marion-Rivard
Image: TMBD

Gabrielle Marion-Rivard is a Canadian film and drama actress and an award-winning actress for her performance in Gabrielle (2013). Gabrielle (2013) is a special film not only for a general audience but also for the actress. 

“Gabrielle is a 22-year-old woman who has some trouble with thinking and learning (practically Williams syndrome). She falls in love with a man named Martin who sings in the same choir as her. Martin’s mother doesn’t like this and Gabrielle is also feeling limited in her life, she wants more freedom. She also feels sad because her sister who helps take care of her may leave to go live in India with her boyfriend.”

In the film, Gabrielle plays herself and explores Willaims syndrome and depicts how it is to live with the condition. It is noted that Gabrielle Marion-Rivard wasn’t even a celebrity before the film, the film got her famous and now she’s one of the most famous people living with Williams Syndrome.

Anthony Anderson

Not that he’s a famous actor or celebrity, but Anthoney Anderson is a kid with Williams syndrome (also has a heart condition) who was seen running on the football field for the first time. His parents were so proud that they posted a video of him, inspiring all those with the disease and those whose loved ones are suffering from it.

Ben Monkaba

Williams Syndrome Famous People, Ben Monkaba
Image: CBS News

Ben Monkaba was first published by CBS News and his story of suffering from Williams syndrome was posted. This was to inspire all the parents and the patients that you are not alone, we are all in this together. 

According to her mother, Terry Monkaba, Ben was diagnosed with the condition at the age of only six weeks. By the time he was a year and a half old, he had gone through two heart surgeries. Ben is friendly, plays drums, and shines like a star. 

The CBS News article tells the story of Ben Monkaba, a 25-year-old man who was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome ( at the age of 6 weeks), a rare genetic disorder that is marked by extreme friendliness, learning difficulties, heart problems, distinctive facial feature. 

The story is shared through pictures and captions that show how the disorder has affected Ben’s life. Despite surgeries and developmental delays, his outgoing personality and passion for music have helped him to excel. He has found it hard to form lasting friendships with his peers but was able to attend the senior prom and now he is studying at a music academy in Massachusetts.

Many Famous People Have Come Out in Support of Williams Syndrome Affectees

Even though there aren’t many famous people, there have been many campaigns run by celebrities to support those with the condition.

In the UK, there is a non-profit called Williams Syndrome Association that supports pupils with the condition to help them live a normal happy life. Actors and screenwriters Peter Davison and Elizabeth Morton recently joined the foundation as charity patrons. 

Other than that, the famous actor from Zoo (Netflix) and the Watchmen series, James Wolk has come forward to raise awareness about the condition and ask everyone to support those with the condition.

What Exactly is Williams Syndrome? What Causes It?

If we were to define Williams syndrome in detail, It is a rare genetic condition (affects roughly 1 in 10000) that can affect anyone – it is beyond our control and solely depends on our genes. When egg and sperm develop, there is a random event that causes around 27 genes to delete from one chromosome 7s. (there are typically a total of two chromosome 7s)

When that happens, the person being born is affected by Williams syndrome. For identification and diagnosis, there are some genetic tests run by doctors to confirm the loss of some specific genes, the identification of which confirms the condition.

In 1961, John C.P. Williams (from New Zealand) first described this condition and the name of the disease was named after the New Zealander.

What Problems Come With Williams Syndrome?

Several health problems come with Williams syndrome. The most prominent of them are heart problems and abnormal facial features. Some other problems and symptoms of Williams syndrome are the following:

  • Low Muscle Tone
  • Difficulty Gaining Weight
  • A Flattened Nasal Bridge
  • Widely Spread Teeth
  • Wide Mouth or Full Mouth
  • Sloping Shoulders

Treatment Options For Williams Syndrome

As many problems come with Williams syndrome, doctors, over the years, have been trying to treat the problems that come with the disease. It is advised to note that Williams syndrome cannot be cured completely, but there are some treatment options available today that can help manage the symptoms. What are those options?

The first thing to keep in mind is that those with Williams syndrome should avoid extra amounts of vitamin D and calcium. The reason why is that the person with WS already has high levels of these substances in their blood.

Speech therapy is another option to treat some problems associated with WS, along with physical therapy, should the person with WS is prescribed by a doctor.

It is always recommended that the person with the condition is often diagnosed by a doctor – only the doctor can prescribe the best care for the person.

Final Words

In conclusion, Williams syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects various parts of the body, such as facial features, visual-spatial tasks, and health problems. It is characterized by sociability and a positive attitude. 

Famous people such as Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, Anthony Anderson, and Ben Monkaba, have been diagnosed with the disorder, and they have been able to live normal lives despite the challenges they face. 

Gabrielle Marion-Rivard is an award-winning Canadian actress, Anthony Anderson is a kid with Williams syndrome who was able to run on the football field for the first time, and Ben Monkaba is an accomplished drummer and music student. 

Their stories demonstrate the potential for people with Williams syndrome to live fulfilling lives despite the challenges they face.

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