Our son Lincoln was born in 2012 with a rare genetic condition called Treacher Collins Syndrome. Treacher Collins Syndrome is a genetic condition that affects the development of facial structures, including an underdeveloped jaw, significantly recessed jaw, absence of cheek bones, blockage of the nasal canal, and underdeveloped ears. Lincoln's upper airway was significantly compromised, for which he requires a Tracheostomy Tube for breathing. He also wears Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) to support his hearing loss which resulted from undeveloped outer ears and ear canals.
Lincoln is an incredibly bright, kind, and funny eight-year old boy. He loves super heroes, transformers, hockey, playing with friends, and simply enjoys having fun. Lincoln absolutely loves people.
Lincoln is bullied due to his facial difference. Often, people do not give Lincoln the opportunity to show them his kind, funny, and caring side. The majority of all public outings, or instances of meeting new people (especially within the school environment), is met with stares, pointing, and negative comments about his face. Many times, these negative reactions have progressed into regular unwanted, aggressive behaviour that is repeated.
Often, people do not give Lincoln the opportunity to show them his kind, funny, and caring side. The majority of all public outings, or instances of meeting new people (especially within the school environment), is met with stares, pointing, and negative comments about his face. Many times, these negative reactions have progressed into regular unwanted, aggressive behaviour that is repeated.
Our family motto has always been to BE KIND and BE RESPECTFUL. As Lincoln gets older, the more aware he is becoming of negative reactions and comments. He is showing signs that he is internalizing the unwanted thoughts. As a parent, it is the most heart-breaking that you can not shield your child from hateful and hurtful comments.
We are incredibly fortunate to have care through the Alberta Children's Hospital, where Lincoln is receiving mental health support from a specialist of kids with complex medical conditions. We would not have access to such important supports and resources if it were not for community support of the Alberta Children's Hospital and Youth Mental Health Funding.
The Novel WONDER was released in 2012. Wonder is follows the story of a boy in grade 5, who has Treacher Collins Syndrome. The book aims to promote compassion and acceptance by spreading the message of "Choose Kind". The book, and subsequent movie, has provided much comfort to our family, and we have been helping to spread the message ever since. This is a big part of why we initiated this fundraiser. Not only has Lincoln received much needed care through the Hospital, there are so many children and youth who are experiencing mental health concerns and issues with bullying. We have the opportunity to make a difference. To make positive change for the kids in our community. With your support through the Pink Shirt Day initiative, we can help raise awareness and provide funding for much needed mental health resources.