little boy sitting on blanket outside


Photograph by Katie Hart (2018)

On April 16, 2016, Axel was born, and even though they didn’t know it then, he gave his family exactly what they all needed. Because of an early diagnosis of Down syndrome, they knew he was special before he arrived. His family says he has taught them so much in such a short time, and they’ve learned that life is really all about those little things… That no matter how bad the day may be, there’s a smile that lights up the room waiting at home. That even with all the therapies and doctors’ appointments, there’s always time to dance to the music, blow a kiss or smell a flower. That pointing an index finger is a big deal. Axel has challenges every single day, but you would never know from his constant smiles. His mother says she is asked all the time: “How do you do it?” She has to smile. How does she do it? How does HE do it? With each surgery, hospital stay and illness, there’s also a joy in knowing how hard they all worked for him to achieve each milestone.
Axel’s favorite things are his family, music and dancing, Cheerios, bubbles and his dogs. His family’s number one hope for him is that he leads a long, happy and healthy life packed with exciting adventures. They hope he never puts one thought into “fitting in” and knows it’s much more beautiful to stand out.

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Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.

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