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Austin blessed our lives 9 weeks earlier than expected. He was born at 31 weeks, 4 lbs, 4 oz and 15.75″ long. He was taken to the NICU where he spent the first 2 months of his life. After 5 weeks of being in the NICU, needing to be resuscitated and having feeding challenges, we learned that he had been born with a cleft palate (a small opening in the soft palate). They sent his DNA off for testing and after his discharge the results came back positive for DiGeorge Syndrome. This discovery began our 22q11 journey.

During the first year of his life we went to what seemed like hundreds of doctor appointments to determine what his challenges were and what could be ruled out. Surgeries have included cleft palate repair, ear tubes and hernia repair. He receives ongoing speech therapy via his IEP as well as services in a gen ed classroom to allow him to understand the curriculum at his level.

Fast forward to today and Austin is a cheerful 7 year old boy with a great disposition who loves to play legos, skateboard, play sports of all kinds and always wants to help. Even though he may be smaller in size than his peers, he’s a persistent little boy with a daredevil side who doesn’t let anything stand in his way!

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