My name is James Grabko and I’m a smiley and energetic little guy who is turning TWO this winter! I can’t wait to get out and about in the community more and meet lots of new friends. I’m pretty much just like every other kid my age. I love going to the park and playing outside, eating pizza and watching sesame street, laughing and playing with my mom and dad (Carley and Jeff), going to swimming lessons at the Davidson Centre, colouring, slides, and bath time!
One thing that is unique about me, is that I have a genetic condition called Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. We’re all a little different, right? My mom and dad tell me that there are lots of kids out there who might need hearing aids, or a walker, a wheelchair, extra help at school and other people who may look a bit different, and that’s okay! With my syndrome, half of my body grows differently than the other half. I have an arm that’s bigger than the other, and I have a leg and foot that is bigger too!
If you see me out playing you might notice I walk, run, and climb differently, but trust me, I’m super fast and I don’t let it stop me from having fun! If I fall, I just get up and try again. My parents say I’m really determined. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt having Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and it’s not scary, or contagious!
Sometimes I need to visit more doctors and specialists, and I may need some surgeries when I’m a bit older. My parents aren’t worried that I’ll be scared though, they say I’m tough and they know I’ll be brave. Right now I have lots of doctors who help my family, as well as visits from a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, dietitian, and infant development worker. They’re all pretty impressed with me (and think I’m pretty adorable too!). I’m not going to let anything hold me back!
My parents hope that when I go to school all the other kids just accept me the way I am. I’d love it if you would tell your kids about me and talk to them about how everyone is a bit different, and that everyone wants to be included and treated kindly. I’m pretty confident with who I am, and I hope that after reading this, everyone will see me for who I am: happy, bubbly, determined, and fun…and not judge me or put limits on me due to my limb differences. I’m just me, James!