Blake and Even age 19 and 16

Photograph by Renee Frisbee (2023)

Blake has a huge heart and loves music and animals more than anything! He is enthusiastic, warm, and welcoming. The first born of four children, Blake’s parents refer to him as their guiding light to parenthood. They also describe him as a hero because of his perseverance and his pure love.

As an animal lover, Blake adores petting dogs. His favorite family activity is listening to music with everyone. Blake enjoys watching the Muppets and playing on the swings at the park.

Blake has diagnoses of Down syndrome, Down syndrome regression disorder, and a history of medical challenges. At six months old, he had heart surgery. He has had to overcome many days in the hospital and push through unimaginable pain.

Evan is a loving brother and a playful, caring friend. He greets each day with excitement and is always eager to meet new people. His favorite pastimes include swimming, running, riding his scooter, and playing video games.
At age six, Evan began having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Three years later, he was diagnosed with a 16q chromosomal micro deletion, a rare genetic condition. At fourteen, he was diagnosed with autism.
Evan is described as positive and having the resilience to keep trying. He is working on being a self-advocate and spoke at the South Carolina State House this year. He also plans to attend a leadership camp.

Blake and Evan’s family believe it is important to show the world different kinds of people doing the same kinds of things. Their mom, Nola, says, “My children are rare and unique, but we all are in our own special way!”

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.