A Family̵...

A Family’s Strength

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by Lianne Castelino  www.whereparentstalk.com

In a rare moment of mindless channel surfing, late last night, on a quest to fill a news fix, I stumbled on an interview.  For the first few seconds, I watched the lady at the centre of the interview talk with no sound on.  A twenty-something cherub-faced woman with a sweet disposition.  I un-muted the tv.  What a story she told.

Nicole Champagne is the 29-year-old mother of an incredible little boy named Maddox Flynn.  Maddox is  from Alberta  —  active, energetic, full of life —- typical 2-year-old.   Always smiling, when he has every reason not to.

Maddox was born with a rare facial deformity called cystic hygroma, leaving his left cheek and mouth enlarged.  The condition has left him unable to learn to speak.

The Flynn family was in New York for a second surgery to repair the swelling.

To listen to his mother, you would have thought it was just any other minor conditon.  She calmly spoke of taking him everywhere – to the park, to the store and treating him very normally….but.  Increasingly thought the little boy was becoming aware of people staring at him in the park and elsewhere.  Other children and adults alike seemingly frightened by his half-swollen face. 

Being a typical mom, Champagne's maternal instincts kicked in.  She and her husband are most concerned about their sons' vibrant spirit being crushed.  His self-esteem and charismatic nature taking a beating.  They don't want anything to hurt his heart.

To listen to this story and look at the video of the boy and his family offers food for thought and inspiration for every parent.  

Admiration for the courage of the family and the doctor who is described as performing a miracle on this child.  Respect for Maddox' parents' and how they've handled  the challenge they've been given as parents.  Inspiration for the outpouring of generosity from Canada, the U.S and Europe from complete strangers who have collectively raised $250,000 for the delicate operation.

Parents of children who are suffering in some form or another are special people.  Their strength in the face of adversity is heroic.  Their unyielding desire to lift their child from pain is palpable.  There are exceptions of course, but stories like that of Maddox Flynn offer a perspective on parenting leaves a mark on every parent.  How could it not?

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