Images by Megan Stewart Photography
This Tiny Light is Ryder. Ryder loves to roll around on the ground, play with his toys, and swim in warm pools. Ryder also loves to listen to music and watch his favourite cartoons. Ryder amazes his parents with his determination and ability to never give up. Ryder has Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy.
Spastic Diplegia is a form Cerebral Palsy that affects the muscles of the lower extremities and is caused by damage to the brain. Ryder’s brain damage most likely occurred while he was in the womb when he experienced trauma from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). TTTS occurs when a set of twins share a single placenta and there is an uneven blood flow between the two babies. One twin receives a lot of blood while the other receives too little. Left untreated, 70-100% of these babies will succumb to the trauma. Wyatt, Ryder’s twin brother and a Tiny Light with wings, sadly passed away on day 24 of his short life. Without Wyatt, Ryder would not be here today.
Ryder’s parents hope that he will never lose his determination, and that he will continue to fight and prove people wrong when they say he cannot do something. They want to tell other parents of children with special needs that it can be hard at times with all the limitations your child has, but you need to focus on what they can do rather than what they cannot.
Ryder’s parents’ biggest fear is that he will not be able to walk, but they feel in their hearts that he will walk someday. However, if he does not, it is not the end of the world because he is here, he is happy, and that is all that matters. It is always heart-warming knowing a child who can bring smiles to the faces of anyone and everyone he meets!
Story by Anna Terebka