Chloe's Story

Images Captured By Alana Couch Photography

Meet Tiny Light Chloe. This sweet girl was born in the Philippines and moved to Canada when she was just a few months old. Chloe is a very loving baby who brings immense joy to her parents. She enjoys listening to music, especially Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and loves Dora the Explorer! Chloe is growing quickly…she is active and energetic and is just starting to walk and talk.

Chloe was born with Down syndrome and an atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD). When she was two months old, she underwent her first surgical procedure, a patent ductus arteriosus ligation. Two weeks after arriving in Canada, she had a bad cough and was taken to the emergency room. It was then that her parents found out she needed to go in for another urgent open heart surgery. It came as a complete shock because they were told by doctors in the Philippines that she would not require another surgery until she was two years old. In contrast, Canadian doctors provide this corrective surgery before six months of age.

These are challenging times for Chloe’s parents, as they are new to this country and are facing this situation alone. However, they are proud of their daughter and are hoping and praying for the best for her future.

Story by Emily Harrison

Maxxwell's Story

Images Captured by Jenn Di Spirito Photography

 Tiny Light Maxxwell is definitely a charmer. He knows he’s cute and loves getting attention. If this toddler blows you a kiss, that means he really likes you.

Maxx was diagnosed in utero at 18 weeks with heart defects - atrioventricular septal defect  (large hole between the ventricles and atria) and ventricular septal defect, plus a Mitral Valve leak. Then doctors told his parents Cheryl and Tom the amniocentesis confirmed Down syndrome.

Within the first six months of his life, Maxx had three heart surgeries. He finally got to go home from the hospital at 6 months, the day before Father’s Day. Maxx may require more surgery in the future and his parents aren’t sure how Down syndrome will affect his life long-term. They are finding support in the community through various organizations such as the Langley Down Syndrome Resource Group.

Maxx will be 3 years old in January and he is pretty much like any other toddler. He loves music and he even knows how to sign for his favourite things. When he wakes up and goes to sleep, he’s always asking for cookies and milk. “We hope Maxx is accepted for who he is and we hope there will always be someone around who can love, support and take care of him.”

(The Langley Down Syndrome Resource Group meets 7:15pm the last Monday of every month except July, August and December at Christian Life Assembly on 56th Avenue in Langley.)

Story Written by Elaine Yong

Vienna's Story

Images Captured by Baotran Pham Photography 

Little Vienna may be only 4 years old, but to her parents and big sister, this Tiny Light has opened up a whole new world of joy and wonder. 

Diagnosed with Atrioventricular septal defect (two holes in her heart) and Down syndrome while in utero, Jennifer and Joel were determined to learn as much as they could about their baby girl’s conditions before she was born.  Since then, Vienna has had numerous hospitalizations, dozens of doctors appointments, open heart surgery, and hours of therapy.  But that hasn’t been the toughest part of the journey for this family.  They have faced an uphill battle with friends and family who haven’t known how to cope with Vienna’s diagnoses. 

Along the way, this beautiful girl has constantly amazed her parents.  “I have never seen a child enjoy life and the little things as much as Vienna.”  Her eyes light up when mom and dad sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  She cheers for her big sister’s soccer team by shouting “Go, go, go!” Even after a long day at the hospital, Vienna is full of laughter.  And she loves snuggling into mom’s shoulder at night. 

Her parents have so many dreams for Vienna.  “If you focus your energy on what your child is not doing, you may miss out on something amazing your child is doing currently.” And no matter what path their daughter chooses, their most ardent hope is she will be surrounded by genuine caring people who accept her. 

Written by Elaine Yong