Our son, Hunter Gage, is seven years old and is the apple of our eyes. We cannot imagine life without him. He means that much to us.
He was born seemingly healthy, with a strong pair of lungs, and ten fingers and toes, but something was definitely wrong: he seemed to be exhibiting signs that he was brain damaged; all the hopes and dreams we had for our boy suddenly vanished overnight, and we were plunged into a world of uncertainty and fear.
We didn't know what was going on with Hunter, but we were determined to help him in any way we possibly could and give him a good life.
By the time he was a year old, Hunter was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. He would probably never walk or talk, according to his doctors, but we would do everything we could to help him learn. Our faith in God was horribly shaken, but we clung to it like a drowning person does to a life raft.
Hunter took his first steps at the age of four. He was walking with the aid of leg braces and a walker, but by God, he WALKED. He actually WALKED!! A year later, he was walking on a pair of bright fire-engine red crutches clamped to his forearms. That is how he still gets around: with his crutches and leg braces. Nothing slows him down, not even falls. If he falls, he gets right back up and continues on his way. His courage and tenacity is nothing short of astonishing!
Now seven, Hunter is continuing to learn one new skill after another and there is no doubt in our mind that he will continue to succeed at whatever he does. He just completed kindergarten; in the fall he will begin first grade at his elementary school. He previously attended a school for children with special needs, but this year he will be "mainstreamed", which, I think, will be better for him in the long run. He will learn to make new friends, and the other kids will, in turn, learn about acceptance and tolerance of others.
Hunter does just about anything boys his age do: play sports, ride a bike (he has a special bike he can pedal with special hand held pedals that he can control with his hands instead of his feet), swim, get into trouble ... there isn't anything he can't do or won't try!
Hunter has such a happy go lucky attitude: nothing makes him sad. He has lots of friends and sings in the children's choir every Sunday at church. He loves going to church and learning about God, Jesus, and all the other Bible characters. It's one of the major highlights of his week, and two weeks ago, Hunter gave his heart to Christ. It was an eomtional moment when he told us that he had Jesus inside of him.
When he grows up, Hunter wants to be a baseball player or an astronaut. He has big dreams for such a little boy. And I don't doubt that he will reach his dreams some day when he grows up. He's that kind of child. Very determined!