Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Curious Case of Josiah Viera

It’s near the time where everyone is getting stressed out and sick of school; we feel like we are completely overwhelmed with school, extracurricular and social life— but we have to remember that we have it much better than many out there.

I recently found an article that was based on six-yr-old Josiah Viera, he stands at 27 inches tall and weighs only 15 pounds—definitely not the physique of an average 1st grader. Josiah suffers from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome—a rare genetic disease that causes accelerated aging in children. (The movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ is based on this disease) The chances of a child being born with Progeria are about one in 4 million—roughly about 50 kids worldwide have this disease. The life expectancy of these children is between 8 and 13 years

Josiah has numerous health problems and experiences seizures and ministrokes. His dream has always been to play baseball like any other child his age; and despite all that he has to endure, he began fulfilling his wish and began playing baseball—first starting in his backyard with the neighborhood boys, then playing for a little league team, and finally meeting his favorite MLB player, Ryan Howard, and suiting up with the Phillies. Even through his sickness, Josiah gave it his all at his final game—which nearly 1,000 people attended to show their support.

So as we feel stressed out about school and other frustrations in life, I hope we’re reminded to try and walk in others’ shoes for a day. We have been given so much to be thankful for and a life with good health, so make the most of it!

By: Irene Ko, Guest Blogger

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