Images Captured By Jamie Allport Photography
When Beckem was born, things immediately took a turn for the worse and he needed to be put on life support. His parents didn’t even get to know if he was a boy or girl for several minutes after his birth.
Beckem couldn’t sit up until he was 18 months old, didn’t crawl until he was two and half, and couldn’t walk until he was three and a half. His condition was a medical mystery for nearly four and a half years.
Finally, Beckem was diagnosed with moderate autism and Coffin-Siris syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects several body systems. Most individuals affected by this syndrome have mild to severe intellectual disabilities, delayed speech development and delayed motor skills. Beckem also has moderate hearing loss and infantile scoliosis. As a result, he’s had many surgeries for his spine. Beckem’s family was devastated; the emotional stress was immense. However, they’ve learned not just to cope but have been inspired to action.
Beckem’s Mom says, “The inspiration he’s given us is not to be only good parents, but better people. He inspired me to start a social network for parents who have children with special needs called the FiT Network. It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain. You can’t adjust the wind but you can adjust your sails.”
As a result of this social network, many families are getting social support, educational support and seminars, workshops and retreats that otherwise would not exist today. Beckem’s mom doesn’t know what the future holds for her son but she hopes he can find peace and joy in his life.
Story Written by Kelsey Walker