At 8 weeks old Katie and Eric’s daughter Emerson developed a fever, so they took her to the emergency room. Once at the E.R., they were told there was something critically wrong with Emmerson and they admitted her. After a week of testing, Emmerson was diagnosed with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome– end stage renal disease-which is a rare genetic issue. Emerson receives 24 hour care, and does dialysis everyday. Once Emerson is big enough, she will go through a series of testing in hopes of getting a kidney transplant.
Kelly and Zac were blindsided when tests showed that their newborn son, Everett, had Achondroplasia– a form of Dwarfism. They grieved for the life they thought they were going to have; and were fearful for a life they knew nothing about. They found peace and hope through God, and learned not to be fearful for the future. They intensely love their son, and have built a community of support for their family. They consider themselves blessed to be Everett’s parents.
When Kim went in for a prenatal ultrasound, doctors found her baby had a cleft lip and a heart defect. After her daughter Jackie was born, it was discovered that Jackie had CHARGE syndrome. In the begining Kim struggled with how to cope with Jackie’s diagnosis. Jackie has changed Kim and her family’s world for the better. She has shown them what really matters in life, and that it is precious.
When Megan and Josh’s son Edison was born, they both noticed some abnormalities, including syndactyly, immediately. Megan and Josh met with a pediatrician, who then sent Edison to a children’s hospital, where Apert syndrome was confirmed. Edison was later diagnosed with hydrocephalus.
After Evanna was born, Kierra and her husband received an official diagnosis of 22q11 Deletion syndrome.
When Evanna was 5 months old she had her first open heart surgery; and subsequently spent 400 days in the hospital due to complications.
Evanna has a major heart condition know as Pulmonary Atresia– MAPCA’s (Major aortopulmonary collateral arteries) which is often a complication found with 22q11 Deletion syndrome. She also has a critical airway, known condition known as Tracheomalacia.
She and her husband Jeff were told to either terminate the pregnancy, or plan a funeral. They chose to continue the pregnancy. Arabella is now a beautiful 2 year old. She was officially diagnosed with Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, a sub-type of Short Rib Polydactyly syndrome. This syndrome has a 30-50 percent survival rate.
Katherine is now expecting her third child, Shiloh. Shiloh has also been diagnosed EVC, as well as a major heart defect. They do not know if Shiloh will live, but are grateful for everyday they have with her.
During her pregnancy Karen saw a high risk obstetrician- because of her age. She had routine prenatal ultrasounds and screenings and all results came back normal. Shortly after her son Caleb was born, Karen was shocked to learn he had Down syndrome.
Karen is a fantastic support and advocate for her son, and all individuals with disabilities.
When Tori and Matt’s daughter failed to sit up or roll over by the time she was 9 months, they started to worry. Their Pediatrician referred them to a Pediatric Developmental Specialist. Through MRI testing, they found that Tori got Cytomegolavirus (CMV) while pregnant, which resulted in their daughter having Cerebral Palsy.
Immediately after Kimber was born, doctors knew there was something wrong. She slept constantly, and she was very limp. Doctors didn’t expect her to live past 6 months. After a few weeks a genetic test revealed she had Prader-Willi syndrome.
Alyssa was relieved to get this diagnosis , because this meant Kimber would live longer than the 6 months doctors predicted; those with Prader-Willi typically have an average lifespan.
Kimber has taught her parents, and those around her to love deeply and unconditionally.