Meet Benjamin: 2017 Speak Now for Kids’ Family Advocacy Day Hero
11-year-old Benjamin has been a fighter since the day he was born. From crashing at birth to where he is today, this boy has had a tremendous battle against the odds.
His parents did not know he had Down syndrome until tests confirmed it when he was just four days old. After a year of being in and out of the hospital due to his failure to thrive, Benjamin was diagnosed with Achondroplasia, also known as dwarfism. He has undergone eight brain surgeries, multiple airway and stomach surgeries, and just recently recovered from surgery on both his legs. However, despite the numerous surgeries and procedures, Benjamin has been a “warrior” through it all.
“With as many surgeries, specialists, hospital stays, home nursing, and therapeutic interventions he has required, his overall health and quality of life have been greatly enhanced due to Medicaid and the Children with Medical Handicaps Program (BCMH),” said Benjamin’s mom, Nikki. “These programs have allowed us to focus on his needs and even dream for a healthy future. “
Throughout all of this, Benjamin is a kid first — a kid who wants to make friends, play ball and talk to you. His captivating personality has always shown through to everyone he meets no matter the place or purpose for the encounter. There is a special spirit that he carries with him and it is undeniable to all who come into contact with him.
He will bring a smile to you when you’re having a bad day and dance for joy with you just because you woke up or came home after work. Benjamin comes alive any time there is an opportunity to meet people, show them how to dance, bless them with his high fives and hugs, and hopefully score a hamburger.
“He doesn’t see imperfections, or turn you away because you are different, he loves freely,” Nikki points out while describing Benjamin. “He might be small but he is mighty.”
Join us in welcoming Benjamin to Washington!
Have no doubt that everyone has already fallen in love with you! You are a blessing to all of us and it is wonderful that you and your family are able to share this amazing opportunity!!!