“My family is unique. My aunt did drugs and alcohol when she had Elizabeth, my sister. Following Elizabeth, she had two more children, Charlie and Rene. Eventually, due to poor living conditions, the Division of Family Services were going to take my siblings to a new home when fate stepped in and changed their lives, and mine as well. My father and mother made a split second decision to take in my cousins. In doing so out of love, my mother quit her career to become a full time mother of three, and my father took seven off-duty jobs on top of being a police officer for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. A year later, I was born and our family was complete.
“Because of drugs and horrible prenatal care, my sister is severely handicapped. She is blind with gelastic, focal and epileptic seizures. She has autism, explosive behavior disorder, De Morsier’s syndrome and is inaudible. Her brain is malformed. This Halloween, she will be 26 years old, yet the size of a six year old with the mental capacity of an infant to a two year old.
“For a long time, she was very difficult to work with, and my family struggled. Her behavior and seizures worsened by the day. It wasn’t until we met with a doctor at Children’s Mercy that things turned around. Throughout the years, he has transformed her and helped improve her quality of life and our family. While most only saw her outbursts in public, I saw a side to her many never get to see. I saw what made her happy, what made her cry, but most importantly I saw how truly special of a person she is. Seeing him help her and work with people like her has truly inspired me to pursue the field of medicine to help people like her. Growing up with Elizabeth has been the greatest blessing of my life. I truly hope one day I can give to other families what her doctor gave to us… hope, a solution and a chance for each day to be better than the last.”
-Christopher Seward, first-year Biochemistry major with an emphasis in pre-medicine.