(posted March 1, 2021)

Easton was born in Raleigh, NC on April 4, 2014. He was a big boy weighing in at 9lbs and 7ozs. When he was born and we only knew about his cleft lip. We didn’t find out about his 22q until he was almost 2 years old. At 4 months old we noticed he always held his head to the side, the doctors thought he had torticollis and that physical therapy would help. After months of physical therapy and no improvement, we went back to UNC genetics and were diagnosed with 22q11.2 deletion.

Easton started Preschool at the age of 3. He was in an EC preschool classroom in the public school system. His teachers showered him with lots of love and he quickly learned to love school. Speech has been his biggest struggle and it continues to be. He is making great progress with his private therapist but it has been a slow process. He is now 6 and has been homeschooled for the last 2 years. He is just starting to read, write, and do simple math. I am so proud of his determination and eagerness to learn.

Easton has a spinal/neck deformity that limits him from being able to do some activities. (No contact sports, trampolines, bounce houses, ATV’s or dirt bikes) He has a higher risk of injuring his neck since he is missing the bone between his neck and spinal cord. We are currently in the process of more medical testing to see when and if surgery will be needed in the future. Our hopes and prayers are that he will not need to go through such a traumatic surgery. Easton loves to be outdoors. He LOVES the beach and the pool. He is an excellent swimmer! Most every day he takes a ride around the neighborhood on his bike and speaks to anyone outside in their yards. He is very social. He loves people and loves to make them laugh.

Easton has a BIG support team. My family and I feel so loved by all the love and prayers that have gone up for him in times of sickness, surgeries, yearly MRIs, and doctor’s appointments. Prayer and our trust in God have been what has helped us through the hard times. I always go back to this verse when I am struggling with a milestone my son isn’t hitting like I wanted him to or when I am stressed about something that he may have to deal with in his future. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Easton has been an inspiration to so many that know and love him. He has the biggest personality and takes joy in making other people happy. It amazes me how far he has come and how determined he is when he sets his mind to something. I think I would have to say the one thing about him that brings me the most joy is his love for people and how he has such a way about him that just draws people of all ages to him no matter where he goes.