boy sits on some steps

Axel Allburn, age 5

Photograph by LaQuanda Hart (2021)

Axel is playful, loving, loud, stubborn, determined, and resilient. His family says some days it is Axel’s way or no way, but they couldn’t imagine life any other way and his perspective is beautiful and pure. They say, “Axel is magnetic—once around him you don’t even realize how much his presence draws you in until you are in love with his smile and amazed by his ability to instantly make your day better.”

When his mom, April, received a prenatal diagnosis, she was terrified and had no idea what to expect. Axel has a diagnosis of Down syndrome and is hearing impaired. As soon as Axel was born, the fear melted away because she felt he was perfect. She knew she would do whatever it would take to care for him.

“We’ve learned to slow down and appreciate what’s right in front of us” says April. “We celebrate every goal, no matter how small they may seem to others because we know how hard he has worked to achieve them. In return, he has taught us patience, appreciation, and an unspoken, beautiful unconditional love we never knew existed.”

Today, Axel has a younger sister who is “his baby”. Whether it is giving her the first or the last fruit snack or hugging and kissing her when she is hurt or upset, he shows her his love. His family says they didn’t show him how to do this, he just does it. They say this is just one example of how the world is a better place because Axel’s in it.

Sponsored by

The Rosenbaum Family

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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