Katie Castillo was born with a rare genetic disorder called Cri du Chat syndrome. Cri du Chat syndrome, (aka 5p Minus Syndrome and Cat’s Cry syndrome) is caused by a small deletion on the “p” arm on one of the fifth chromosomes. The syndrome, a spectrum disorder, finds individuals ranging from severe to mild developmental delays.  

Katie is more on the moderate to mild range of cognitive and physical development. At 27, Katie’s socially more of a teenager. She likes Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Ninja Turtles, Animorphs, J.D. Robb and Twilight. Katie loves to read and play on her iPad.

Katie attends St. Cornelius Catholic Church in Long Beach. She went through the CCD program and made her First Communion at St. Cyprian. She loves to go to church on Sunday and Holy Days.  

She follows the Mass pretty well, loves to sing the psalms, and parishioners are always so nice and kind to her. At every Mass, Katie says a prayer to Mary.

Katie, who can talk fairly well, will tell you that she has Cri du Chat Syndrome, but it doesn’t define her. She is more than just a “syndrome,” she is a beautiful, loving, caring daughter, sister and friend.May 3-9 marked the fourth International Cri du Chat Awareness Week and Katie took part by participating in a local “5k for 5p-” to celebrate.

Learn more

Each year in the United States, 50-60 children are born with 5p- syndrome(five p minus), also known as Cat Cry syndrome or Cri du Chat syndrome. 5p- syndrome is characterized at birth by a high pitched cry, low birth weight, poor muscle tone, microcephaly and potential medical complications. To find out more, visit www.fivepminus.org