About Us
Meet our members

Sherry Baker-Gomez, Founder

Hello to those reading this! My name is Sherry Baker-Gomez. I'm a parent of a son, Talem, who now in his 30's, was diagnosed with "22q11.2 chromosome deletion" (aka VCFS) at age 18. After many years of seemingly unrelated health issues, a mystery diagnosis with no real answers was given. Because I wanted desperately to figure out what was causing so many health & mental issues in my son, I did a lot of volunteer work in various places in the health arena to gain knowledge. Eventually, I became a nurse to be able to read reports, labs and symptoms.

When Talem was finally diagnosed correctly in the genetic department at Arizona State University, I found there was little information on the subject of 22q. It was then that my old boss at St Joe's asked if I would write a pamphlet on the topic for parents. This ended up being the 576 page book entitled "Missing Genetic Pieces" that you will see on the website. It started out as a list of things I would have wanted to know when Talem was a child, and the list just kept growing. I wanted to be able to give other parents a better understanding of the disorder, with the knowledge of who to go to and how to manage their child's life.

When my daughter was 5 and and Talem was 3, my husband and I moved them from Oregon to Arizona because Talem was dying from the dampness in the Oregon weather, which compromised his lungs and caused severe asthma. Here I opened up a beauty shop for a short time, as we pursued other opportunities. After taking architecture classes, we became licensed Interior Contractors for the next 20+ years. After becoming a nurse, I was privileged to work for a Hospice organization and became a Case Manager. Then I was asked to come on board at a juvenile corrections facility in the health department, where I stayed until I was diagnosed with cancer and a heart condition in 2008 and forced to retire.

This new adventure of the Non-profit website "22q Central" is my Daughters contribution to fulfill my dream of making a positive difference in the spirit in people's lives. I am sure that ALL the members of 22q Central feel the same way. I want so much to feel and believe that we who are affected by 22q are gaining in knowledge, recognition and forming a united front with a real sense of a family community!

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Tishri Solmon, President

Tishri Solmon, President

Hello! My name is Tishri (Tish-ree) Solmon. My brother is an adult with 22q11 deletion disorder. Being a sibling of a brother suffering from 22q11 deletion disorder has been challenging and life-changing in many ways. Witnessing him struggle through childhood and being bullied in school, I believe has been contributing factors to my proactive and protective personality. We did not know he had this disorder until he was in his late teens, so all we really knew was that he was different. He was a sickly child with learning disabilities. It makes you wonder how many people are currently in the shoes we were once in…having a child with health complications and not knowing its source.

My inspiration and motivation comes from a mother who was determined to find answers, a grandmother dedicated to finding holistic remedies, a father that never faulted to support our family, and a brother who struggles through life. I hope in the future to add a different perspective to the 22q11 community born from my experiences growing up with a brother with special needs, the people that made an impact on our journey along the way, exposure to mental illness while working in the prison system, and as a registered nurse. The body is a fascinating machine, but at times confusing and malfunctioning. I have an interest in holistic medicine along with traditional medicine. Nature has a way of delicately correcting minor health disturbances without side effects, but it cannot be ignored that traditional medicine has its place; especially in a crisis.

On a personal note, some of my passions are camping and riding my horse. Accompanying me in my picture is my little man Oakley, a Yorkie, who shares my passion of camping. I find animals and the outdoors keep balance in my life; providing an escape from my many responsibilities, and maintain a positive attitude. I take great pleasure in my small family and a few close friends. Their love and support gives my life meaning. There is nothing like having the peace of mind knowing no matter where you are in life, there are people to cheer you on or offer a shoulder to cry on. Each fills my life in some way, making me complete, and the person I am today.

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Leah Fuslier, Vice-President

Leah Fuselier, Vice-President

Hi, my name is Leah Fuselier and I am the parent of a child with VCFS. Our little family of 3–my partner, Steph, me and our son, Hunter–live in Southwest Louisiana. I am a CPA for a local firm and Steph is an aircraft mechanic. Our son, Hunter is 11 years old and was diagnosed with VCFS at the age of 4. From the day Hunter was born, it was a rollercoaster ride with doctors, hospitals, etc all with a different issue for me to absorb. We saw cardiologists, urologists, ENT's, pediatricians; you name it until we ended up with a wonderful neurologist, Dr. LeBrun who referred us to the geneticist who diagnosed Hunter.

We struggled for years to find out information about VCFS, but found that we were educating the health care professionals in our area instead of being educated. About a year ago, I was blessed to find a wonderful person, Sherry Baker-Gomez, who changed our lives. Finally, I had someone who I could talk to who understood what we were going through and as luck would have it, she had even written a book on it. We have been very blessed to find helpful resources with Sherry's help and finally feel that we are prepared to assist our son the way he needs.

This site and the information / resources that we are trying to provide is very near to my heart. I was so touched when Sherry asked me to be the Vice-President of this organization. I hope this will help other families living with VCFS to not have the struggles that we have endured. I also hope this site gives other VCFS families a sounding board to know they are not alone in this battle. We can all grow from each other's experiences and many times, just be there to listen when someone needs.

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Cathy Corella, Treasurer

Cathy Corella, Treasurer

Cathy was born in Hawaii but lived in the Washington DC area before making Phoenix, Arizona her home. She has work experience in real estate, bookeeping and accounting and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and a Graduate Certifcate in Gerentology, both from Arizona State University. Cathy is on the Board of Directors for the Glendale Chapter of American Association of University Women and the Arizona Fiduciaries Association. Top
Tamara Smith, Secretary

Tamara Smith, Secretary

Hello! My name is Tamara Smith and I live in Vancouver, Washington. My husband and I have three adult children and four grandchildren. I am a free-lance multi-media designer, and work with my husband creating video ads for the Natural Foods Industry.

I have been blessed to have Sherry as my dearest friend, and to know her family for for 35 years. I have seen both the joys and the sorrows they have experienced as they've cared for Talem. It has truly become a family affair for them; great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and siblings have all been effected.

When Sherry approached me in 2010 to participate in this organization to help others dealing with 22q11 Deletion, I was honored to be asked to create their first website. Now, 4 years later, we have put together a new look with a fresh approach. It's our sincerest hope that this site will continue to provide needed information, education and support to families facing these challenges.

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