"Our son Casper was born at 26 weeks gestation, he weighed 1lb 8oz and spent 115 days in the NICU in Hamilton. He suffered many obstacles while in the NICU and fought fr his life multiple times through suffering 2 bouts of NEC, an allergy to milk protein that ate through his intestine, multiple blood transfusions and many other things.
He is now 2.5 yrs old and since coming home has continued to battle. He has failure to thrive and was on a feeding tube but recently went through 2 months of inpatient feeding therapy at Sick Kids and is now feeding tube free. He has a very rare genetic malformation and as is suspected to be bone marrow failure disorder. Recently he began having seizures and tremors and his vision is limited by having a condition called septo-optic dysplasia. He is non verbal but has learned to sign some and just started walking. Casper is now 22lbs and though he is mentally 12 months he is a complete miracle and a total joy. He is ALWAYS smiling and you cannot help but fall in love with him.
During winter break we visited the Toronto Zoo for the first time and it was then that we discovered his true love Giant Pandas. He totally went crazy for Er Shun and Da Mao and spoke his first word "ANDA" which is his word for Panda. Ever since then he has been crazy for Pandas and watches videos and any movies we can find on them, has multiple stuffed pandas and has learned the sign for panda also. We have since become members at the Zoo and have gone back 3 times just so he can see his pandas. We have learned that much like Casper the giant pandas are actually born very very small and also fight for their little lives from birth so it makes sense to us that Casper would find a kinship with them. " – Amy (Mom)