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Special School District of St. Louis County

The Color Purple = Courage
Kindergarten students celebrate MPS Awareness Day

MPS is an acronym that most people are not familiar with. However for one family, these three letters carry an indescribable weight. SSD student Danica Boni was diagnosed with MPS at a young age and has undergone a variety of treatments and surgeries in her short five years of life to combat the disease. MPS (Mucopolysaccharidoses) is a group of metabolic disorders caused by the absence or malfunctioning of enzymes that help build bone, cartilage, tendons, corneas, skin and connective tissue. The result is permanent, progressive cellular damage, which affects appearance, physical abilities, organ and system functioning, and in most cases mental development.

“We wanted to celebrate the courage it takes to face this disease and also the importance of appreciating differences. Purple was our theme of the day because purple is the color of courage,” said Danica's parents Jason and Kelli Boni.

The Bonis spearheaded an MPS Awareness Day May 15 at Halls Ferry Elementary in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. The event included a school-wide announcement about MPS, followed by a book reading with the entire kindergarten class and a purple balloon release. The books covered specifics about MPS and about appreciating differences in others.

“We hope to raise awareness of MPS, and shine a bright light on all our MPS families and their collective portraits of courage,” said Jason and Kelli Boni.

For more information about MPS, visit

balloon release

Students at Halls Ferry Elementary release purple balloons in honor of MPS Awareness Day.

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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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