Victoria: Gavin’s a special little boy he has a rare medical condition called lymphatic malformation. Joe: For me, I don’t really think that he looks different. Victoria: He’s changed the way that we view life completely, changed our mindset on basically everything, Victoria: One thing everybody says when they meet Gavin is that he is the happiest kid that you’ll ever meet. I mean everything that he’s gone through you think that he would be somewhat down and you know have an attitude or but he’s always happy, always smiling, always laughing Joe: Get it! Joe: Get it! Victoria: We didn’t know what this condition needed or how to treat it. It’s not like any normal condition. It’s super rare. Victoria: Good job. Victoria: Lympahtic
Malformation is an abnormal growth of cysts within the head, face, neck and could even happen in wherever there is lymphatic… vessels. And it occurs in only one in every 4,000 births. Victoria: So we first discovered that Gavin was going to be born different when we went to our 18 week anatomy scan. We were there to figure out, if he was a boy or a girl, and obviously to measure all of his limbs and heart. Joe: Crazy `fro. Victoria: The doctor came in she started doing her scan, and she looked at us and told us, “You know, he has some sort of mass” since she said it might be what’s called a cystic hygroma, or lymphatic malformation. When I first found out that Gavin will be different, I was terrified I didn’t know what to think. Victoria: When he was born, his mass was a lot more severe than what they expected it to be. Joe: When we saw him we were
like, “Damn” that’s nothing like we had ever seen and the doctors were even I think we had already so much care that doctors were like, that’s the worst we’ve seen in 10 years. Victoria: So that was scary in itself. Victoria: I first saw him… and… you can see like the machines behind him but I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t… you know, upset. I was, “That was him.” That was my baby. Everything was worth bringing him home, because as a parent, of course, you don’t want to see your child going through that, but at the same time, it’s just who he is. That’s who he is. That’s Gavin story. Victoria: Bringing baby home. Victoria: Having a child with a visible difference has taught me, that life is precious. It’s not always going to be the way that you think it is. Joe: For me, I don’t really think that he looks different and it doesn’t really bother me. I guess now we’re on the other side of the spectrum versus seeing somebody’s child look different. I think now I’m more so like you never know their story. Victoria: When people stare at Gavin in public, I don’t really pay any attention to it. I’ve had people come up to me and ask, I think they want to ask what’s wrong with him or but they just don’t know how, so they’ll be like, “How old is he?”
And “He’s so cute,” but they just don’t know how to I guess, approach the situation. But if they just say, “hey, “what condition does he have?” Just ask, honestly, I’m not going to get offended. I want to raise awareness. Victoria: By sharing Gavin’s medical adventure on social media, it has opened so many doors for you know, raising awareness. I’ve had moms contact me with their children who have lymphatic malformation and they don’t know what treatment to go with or they’d asked me for advice, and hopefully they didn’t feel as helpless as we did when we first started out. Female Speaker: There’s grandpa… Joe: Victoria turned 29 a couple days ago, it’s actually your first birthday with him home. Joe: This time last year we were still hospital so this the first one where both of our birthdays we’re really able to celebrate at home, good to be home. Victoria: It is. Victoria: Oh it’s going to come eat you. it’s going to get you. [happy birthday song] Victoria: Through the hard parts of the journey allowed us to learn when he was in the hospital I always said we have to stay positive. I didn’t want any negative energy in there. And I think that with him, overcoming everything and him being so strong made me that way. And a lot of people reached out to me through his Instagram page. They’re like “Wow, you are so strong” and I’m like, “That’s just how I had to be” when parents see this story who are in a similar situation I hope that they take away the fact that we are… trying to be as normal as possible. Yes, there’s always going to be that obstacle that you have to go through. Ask for help. Ask for support. Joe: You know, the first day you’re going to think at first, “Why do I have to do this? Why me? Why me?” but we always say this to people always say this to us, is there’s a reason he is our son. It’s made us stronger as parents as husband and wife with our friends, it’s going to have its challenges, but I promise you it will have equal probably even better rewards.