Our son Antonio was born back in July 2016, failing to thrive and with special needs. He's globally delayed, and the first known person with a new DNA “spelling mistake” in chromosome 16. Though he's still not eating, talking or walking yet at 18 months, he's come a long way from the rough start he’s had in life, mostly thanks to support systems we had in place early on.
In spite of the challenges faced so far and not knowing what the future holds for him, we still feel incredibly lucky.
...Lucky because we caught early signs of dehydration before it became life-threatening and were sent to Sickkids to figure things out.
...Lucky because he was approved for a gastrostomy tube at seven months old, a surgery that was life-changing for both him and us.
...Lucky because we convinced geneticists for more comprehensive testing and got a working diagnosis eight months in to better understand what was going on with him.
...Lucky because we had incredible family and friends who helped us juggle the hospital stays with school and care for our other children.
My eyes have never been more open to the struggle of other families I’ve met along the way whose children also have special needs; who don’t get answers as quickly; who wait longer for access to special services and surgeries; who can’t stay overnight at the hospital with their sick children. I could go on.
I've been gifted a new mission in life living through my son's issues - to support and inspire families whose children have special needs. Help was there when I needed it most. Help should be there when others need it most too. The Toni-yo-yo Run for Fun is just the beginning of my desire to start giving back in more meaningful ways.
I welcome you on this new and purposeful journey with me.
More about me, Andrea!
I'm a mother of three and married to the man of my dreams. I worked in sales but have since switched careers for cuddles and kisses, boo-boos and band-aids. My specialties include diffusing tantrums, coping with no sleep and keeping calm in total chaos.
When I'm not accidentally falling asleep with my kids I can be found secretly raiding the snack drawer or bingeing on Netflix. Other than that, I love to run, I use my Dyson daily and I've been lying about my age for years. Thanks for your interest and visiting the website.