12 Stars Prove That Having a Special Child at Home Is Not Only a Challenge, but Also a Gift
Raising a child with special needs can be a real challenge for the parents. Because any parent wants to have happy and healthy kids. But taking care of such babies can teach us a lot of new things and broaden our horizons. Some famous people know this from their own experience.
We at CHEERY decided to find out how having special children changed the lives of their famous parents.
Musicial and member of the famous band “Backstreet Boys” knows exactly how scary it is when your child is diagnosed with a serious illness. When his son Baylee was 6, he was diagnosed with Kawasaki syndrome, a collection of symptoms that stem from swollen blood vessels.
Doctors managed to diagnose the syndrome early and after special therapy, Baylee is completely healthy. But his father Bryan still remembers how helpless he felt. Baylee also decided to become a musician and has already released his own album.
The son of a famous model and singer, Harvey was born with septo-optic dysplasia. He has additionally been diagnosed as autistic and to have Prader—Willi syndrome. Katie Price raised the boy almost alone. She says that her son means everything to her. Despite all the difficulties, Harvey taught her what unconditional love is. He’s always happy to see his mom and she loves seeing him.
Katie says, “I’m proud of my son no matter what.” They have been through a lot together. Doctors used to say that the boy would never be able to walk or talk, but he managed. Now, 19-year-old Harvey goes to a special college and can do his own shopping, and Katie is very proud. She said, “I still don’t know what Harvey’s future is, we’ve got a long way to go, but he surprises me all the time.”
When the daughter of the famous actor from Royal Pains was born, she wasn’t putting on enough weight. After several tests, his newborn daughter Addie was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect and needed a surgery. At the time, Mark Feuerstein just started the series, and he was torn apart between the set and the hospital.
It took 3 months and 2 surgeries for the girl to return home. Feuerstein is still scared of remembering those days. Right now, Addie is healthy and makes her father laugh every day. And Mark together with his wife are so thankful to the doctors, that they support the institution where Addie had her surgery. Besides, they are in the Heart Ambassadors group.
The actress says that when she first heard about her daughter’s, Pippa, diagnoses, she was terrified. She knew nothing about the Down syndrome. She just knew that people were scared of hearing this from doctors. But everything changed soon.
Thanks to Pippa, she soon realized that there are no standards besides the ones imposed on people. Scorsone says, “Pippa is perfect exactly as she is. So are you, and so am I. The only way we lose sight of that perfection is to look for it somewhere else.” The actress loves walking with Pippa, discussing her school news and enjoying flowers.
Romeo was only 4 years old when doctors diagnosed him with epilepsy. Victoria told about it to protect her son from photographers because flashes can cause a seizure. Now, Romeo is an adult, he’s interested in fashion and works as a model.
Denise Richards adopted her daughter Eloise in 2011. At the time, they didn’t know she had a rare condition: Chromosome 8, Monosomy 8p. The girl was diagnosed in 2016. The actress says they knew there was a problem because there were some delays in sitting down and walking, and she had problems with the speech. But a lot of tests needed to be done to detect the exact cause.
Denise said it was very hard for her to see all the difficulties her daughter had to overcome. She said, “But as a parent, you want what’s best for your children, and you just do it. We don’t know if [Eloise] is ever going to talk like a typical child. It’s been challenging. I’m learning every day.”
Together with doctors, they are still trying to choose the right therapy for the girl. And there’s some progress because Eloise was able to say the word “Dad” to Aaron Phypers, Denise’s husband.
When the older daughter of the star of Criminal Minds was diagnosed with autism, the parents were shocked. In the 1990, not a lot of people know what exactly it means and how to treat such kids. The Mantegna family decided to deal with the problem together, so they went to do all the filming together.
Mia went to a regular school, and Joe and his wife have always supported her, trying to explain the difference between her and other kids to her teachers and classmates. She finished makeup classes and now works as a makeup artist in Inclusion Films. Joe Mantegna supports several charity organizations that deal with this problem.
Laura San Giacomo
Laura San Giacomo’s son Mason was born with cerebral palsy. Laura talked about it only years later. She said that this news was very hard for her because such conditions are surrounded with a lot of fears and stereotypes. Doctors told her the boy would never be able to play basketball, but he was. And his progress changed her view of the situation completely.
Laura said, “Look, this is the greatest gift you’re going to be given. This is the chance for you to become smarter and more inventive than you ever thought you would be. You are being called to the biggest plate of your life.” Thanks to Mason, Laura opened a special fully-inclusive school. At first, there were only 70 children, but soon, this number increased 10 times.
Actor Greg Grunberg says he’s very proud of all his 3 sons. But his true hero is the oldest son, Jake, who studies well, does sports, and doesn’t let epilepsy affect him.
Since the moment Jake was diagnosed, the doctors have been trying to choose the therapy to make the seizures less intense. But many medications either didn’t help at all, or became less effective very quickly. The boy had up to 200 seizures a day. Only a surgery could help, but doctors weren’t sure it would.
Fortunately, the surgery helped and now, Jake has almost no signs of epilepsy. Greg was inspired by his son to raise awareness of this problem. He tries to talk about it as often as possible, to bust myths about it and help everyone who has it.
Greg said that the ability to discuss this situation with other parents of such children, or adults who had seizures, really helped his entire family.
The model said that she blamed herself for her son Riley having sickle cell disease because it’s passed on. She had to deal with the guilt because she still needed to work and visit doctors. Besides, Jordan is trying to make her son feel confident. Because love and respect can’t exist without being positive about yourself.
Jordan is trying to tell the world as much as possible about this condition. Many people suffer from it but they feel lonely and don’t tell others about it.
When Jordan was asked to become the face of the Sickle Cell Disease Association, he happily agreed. Dunn said, "I was immediately excited to spread more awareness of the disease and help raise funds, and do whatever I can to help out. It is a cause that is truly close to my heart.
Colin Farrell’s oldest son suffers from Angelman syndrome that is often confused with autism or cerebral palsy. It’s a rare genetic disorder characterized by developmental delays, lack of speech, seizures and impaired balance. This is why the parents are requesting to be named co-conservators of James as he approached the age of 18.
Farrell said that when a child suffers, it can break your heart, but the love children give, heals all the wounds. He added, “I would humbly say to parents of a child recently diagnosed with any disorder that while they may well be experiencing the death of one dream, that dream of having a healthy child, there are a thousand dreams and milestones that are yet to reveal themselves.”
The actor says that only when his son Max was born, he truly understood what love means. The boy was born with the Down syndrome. At first, the parents were shocked, but McGinlay quickly realized it was his chance to become a better father. He said, “And there is no time to be scared, there is much to do, and there is no time to waste.”
McGinlay is thankful for every single day he can spend with his son. He’s become a National Down Syndrome Society activist, and he’s trying to explain to the world what the Down syndrome is and how to protect such children from insults.
In your opinion, how to support children with special needs, so that they are happy?