The support and insights others offered to Clint Hurdle and his wife Karla after their daughter Madison was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, helped the couple through a difficult time, and they’ve been committed to paying that help forward ever since.

That’s why two hours before the start of his team’s 7-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates manager interrupted his daily routine to meet with a group of 80 people assembled by the Ontario Prader-Willi Syndrome Association.

Hurdle spoke to the gathering “to share experience, strength and hope,” mingled with guests afterwards and signed autographs.

“We’re fortunate we’re blessed in a lot of different ways,” Hurdle said in an interview before the event. “As Karla and I look at it, we’ve been given an opportunity to be a spokesfamily. We do have a soapbox to stand on and a pedestal to use properly to bring awareness, to help raise funds, to get involved in different communities across the nation, to help support families.

“We’re fortunate we have funds that maybe some others don’t, so we feel the need to help raise funds for other families so they can plug into and seek help and support mentally, physically, spiritually or financially.”

Prader-Willi Syndrome occurs in one of every 15,000 live births when a mutation occurs on one of an individual’s two chromosome 15s, leading to issues with appetite, growth, cognitive function and behaviour. One of its hallmark characteristics is a feeling of insatiable hunger which combined with a slowed metabolism can lead to obesity.