Granny basketball game supports boys with rare disease and genetic disorder

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JESUP, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Grandmas hit the court on Thursday to raise money for research and awareness for a disease and a genetic disorder.

"We have Miles for Mason and Team Reed in the community of Jesup and we figured those would be great causes to help out," coach Nick Green said.

Reed Havlick has a disease called vanishing white matter. He's one of fewer than 200 people in the world with the disease that melts his brain away.

"We just wanted to say thank you all for coming tonight and supporting us and supporting Mason and it's always great to see such great community support always for everything that we do with Reed," Reed's mom Erika Havlick said at the game.

Mason Gonzalez has Angelman's Syndrome.

"Odds of this are about one in 25,000. He's just delayed in his milestones. Unfortunately, he does not have the gift of speech," Amy Gonzalez said.

One of the grannies is the lunch lady in Jesup and had it on her bucket list.

"At my age I figure this year you never know what's going to happen, you know, so I'm 78 years old and I want to play granny basketball," Joyce Donlea-Schmitt said.

Being a lunch lady at the school, she says she sees the community committed.

"We try to have as many fundraisers as we can," Donlea-Schmitt said.

It was some friendly competition, in a community constantly doing what it can to support Mason and Reed.