Joseph's Story

Images Captured by Jodie Hadden Photography

Tiny Light Joseph is a loving, beautiful six-year old who is just finishing kindergarten. He is very close to his younger brother Sebastien and they love to play the iPad game Angry Birds together. Joseph also likes to wrestle with his dad and brother and bake cookies with his mommy.

Joseph has faced a lot of health challenges in his young life. He has been diagnosed with Down syndrome as well as atlantoaxial instability -- which is a problem with the alignment of his spinal cord. He also suffers from celiac disease -- an immune reaction to gluten -- and sleep apnea. Joseph has had five surgeries to put tubes in his ears to drain fluid and may need hearing aids.

But Joseph is doing his best to overcome his obstacles. Because of his hearing loss, he and his family have had to use sign language and this Tiny Light understands over 200 words. He also has an uncanny ability to read and recognize some words; he can pick out his favourite song on the iPod every time. While Joseph has a number of procedures ahead of him, his parents are optimistic about his future. "He perseveres and never gives up, be it on a level of Angry Birds or mastering the writing of his name," his mother says. "We are very proud of him."

Written by Karis Sengara