Alexandra Oppenheimer (Ali) was among the first cases diagnosed with velo-cardio-facial syndrome and was reported in the first article published in 1978. Ali had early difficulties with speech requiring a pharyngeal flap. Through perseverance and hard work she received her bachelor's degree from Washington and Jefferson College, a master's degree in education from Bank Street College of Education, and a license in reading from Long Island University. Ali also received her license to practice Reading Recovery from NYU (New York University) in connection with BOCES. Reading Recovery is an intervention program for first graders. She currently works as a reading specialist at a public elementary school in New Rochelle, NY. In 2008, Ali presented her life experiences to an international audience of more than 500 people in Strasbourg, France.