The Internal Revenue Service had good news for Anne Stalker - along with a booklet.

The Lincoln mother of a child with 22q syndrome, with help from eight law students at a University of Nebraska legal clinic, recently succeeded in getting charity status for her Mission 22q organization.

The project, profiled in a January Journal Star article, hopes to help parents deal with the multitude of issues accompanying the genetic disorder, which occurs once in 2,000 births.

The College of Law clinic last year selected Stalker's request from a list of applicants. Four successive student teams advanced the project to fruition.

Stalker said Wednesday she was able to tell the incoming fourth team it had already won its first case.

The one-page IRS notification of approval for the 501(c)(3) tax-sheltered charitable organization arrived at Stalker's home in January along with a booklet listing responsibilities.

"I had no clue we can't do anything where we're supporting a political candidate," Stalker said.

The group had no plans to do that, "But what if somebody was going to help us with legislation," she asked.

January's news article resulted in numerous e-mails from 22q parents, some as far away as Ireland and Australia. An Arizona group wants to jointly host something with hers.

Stalker said she had looked at obtaining charitable status as an ending, but now realizes the group must figure out how to raise funds. A first goal is $1,500 to bring in Donna Cutler-Landsman, a 22q mother, counselor and author of "Educating Children With Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome."

Sharing the news with the law students was the best part, Stalker said.

"They hope the rest of their cases go as well," she said, adding: "I tried to talk them into doing a fund raiser for me. I told them it'd be part of their grade, but they weren't listening."

Reach Mark Andersen at 473-7238 or


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