Meet Jalen and his family. This 6-year-old little boy is a ball of sunshine. He is always smiling. Except for when he’s sick and not feeling well, his mom says Jalen is the happiest person she knows!
At birth, no one knew he had microcephaly, a rare neurological condition that can lead to developmental issues. It wasn’t until 6 months old when certain milestones weren’t being met that it became clear something was wrong. Today his diagnosis includes spastic quadriplegia (a subset of cerebral palsy that affects all four limbs), epilepsy, gastroesophageal reflux disease, failure to thrive, osteopenia, and asthma. He goes to appointments several times a month with medical specialists. That’s an improvement from last year when he’d be admitted in the hospital every few months for viruses, seizures and GI issues.
Jalen is unable to sit up unsupported, walk, eat by mouth, or talk. He attends a school that teaches him how to communicate since he is non-verbal, as well as gain independence…such as using switches on a power wheelchair since he is non-ambulatory.
He is very social and uses his beautiful eyes to communicate. He adores his brothers, bubbles, and SpongeBob too. Music, art and Horton Hears a Who! make up his favorite things.
When asked what his family wishes for sweet Jalen, they shared, “Happiness. We cannot control the illness or the chronic pain. But we can control his happiness. He is surrounded by family and love. And we will continue to make memories.”
A very special thank you to http://jennericksonphotography.com for donating her time and talent.