When a newborn baby is discovered to be living with a mysterious illness, time becomes very precious. The sooner doctors can confirm a diagnosis, the quicker they can begin treatment to save the tiniest of patients. In support of this lifesaving work, the 28th annual Children’s Minnesota Star Gala will benefit families and the genomic medicine department at Children’s Minnesota.

Genetically speaking, every individual is born with a unique makeup that determines everything from the color of their eyes to their chances of getting cancer. In fact, genes have a tremendous impact on one’s health: Nearly 90 percent of diseases have a genetic component to them. Genetic diseases are considered the leading cause of death in neonatal intensive care units today, and some 8 million babies are born each year with one. The reality is that doctors simply cannot know all the ways one’s genetic makeup will interact with any given illness. As the largest pediatric genomic medicine program in the Upper Midwest, Children’s Minnesota cares for 2,500 babies, children and teens living with genetic disorders each year.

Children’s works with top-notch care providers to help identify genetic diagnoses and better facilitate necessary treatments and supportive therapies. Genomic medicine — the study of the complex biological details of an individual and the use of these for effective diagnosis and tailor-made treatment — acts as a differentiator that supports informed decision making for the families of the most critically ill patients throughout each Children’s program, including mother/baby, cardiovascular, neonatal, oncology and neurology.

Because genomic medicine is at the forefront of innovation, health-insurance companies currently do not cover rapid sequencing treatment, making philanthropy vital. With the support of the community, Children’s can better incorporate the sophisticated advances in genomic medicine and quicken the pace of diagnosis and treatment of each condition.

Children’s Minnesota Star Gala, a premier Twin Cities event, will be held on Saturday, April 13, at the Historic Milwaukee Road Depot in downtown Minneapolis. Only a limited number of sponsorship tables remain available for purchase. Please contact Kiirsten Conzemius at 952-992-5513 to secure your place to give back at the Star Gala today.