My family has played an instrumental role in making me the person I am today. My immediate family includes my Mom (Marie), Dad (Roger), sister (Olivia), my niece (Emily), and my brother – in – law (Cameron). Of course, I have extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins as well. My closest friends are also part of my family. They know who they are so I don’t have to list them by name, see some of their photos on the next page.
Raised to focus on the positive, to accept that being “different” can make a difference and to make the best of what I have was the solid foundation for a constructive attitude to life and a magnet for positive results. My family has and will always be there for me and growing up they provided me endless opportunities in every aspect of my life, including education, sports, arts, and overall life guidance. Having a child with a so called “disability” (MPS II Hunter syndrome) cannot be easy, but my family’s positive attitude became the means to achieve what others perceived as the impossible.
They took the news head on and dealt with the challenges as they came along. This is where I get my strong and positive attitude as well as the belief that no obstacle is too big to overcome. The greatest service my family ever did for me was including me in everything and never treating me any different from anyone else.
This warm and loving environment provided for solid principles and courage to stand up to these principles: it was the formation of who and what I am today and for that I thank my parents and my sister who will always be a very big part of who and what I am today and in the future. Their unfaltering support and respect has allowed me to face challenges head-on and has provided the foundation to create an incredible life for myself surrounded by amazing family/friends and a new mission to make change for MPS II Hunter syndrome and all Lysosomal Storage Disorders through my iBellieve Foundation.