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Never Lose the Wonder – A Story About William Del Raso

by Jane Eppard | 12.05.2020

William Del Raso is a curious little guy. Maybe that is why he decided to enter the world extremely early and surprise his mom and dad.

William Del Raso is a curious little guy. Maybe that is why he decided to enter the world extremely early and surprise his mom and dad. In spontaneous fashion, Will arrived, weighing in at 1 pound 11 ounces. His twin brother Chase followed behind him, 44 minutes later.

During Will’s 144-day-stay in NICU, the doctors discovered that Will had a brain bleed as well as hydrocephalus. He also went through several surgeries, the most relevant being his shunt placement. These were early indicators of the diagnosis that came two-years-later at Helen DeVos Developmental Clinic where Will was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. While the cerebral palsy affects his whole body, his left side – hand, arm, and leg – are primarily impacted. Most recently, Will was diagnosed with epilepsy due to a new onset of seizure activity.

In an effort to help Will with his mobility delays, the Del Raso’s placed Will into physical and occupational therapy with Mary Free Bed and the Conductive Learning Center. Taking his growth, a step further, Will was enrolled into a full-time school schedule with the Conductive Learning Center. It was here that the Del Raso’s learned about Family Hope Foundation and the scholarship program. Will received a scholarship! This “Gift of Ability” helped the Del Raso’s pay for Will’s therapy.

Thanks to the scholarship for therapy, Will is learning how to use his body and mechanics effectively. He is getting better at four-point crawl versus combat crawl. He is using his left hand more and more. Although he does not walk independently, he sure wants to! For the Del Raso’s, they are blessed to watch him learn new things and make his own adaptations.  

Despite the struggles and hard work, Will remains kind, polite, and happy-go-lucky. He loves to ride on the tractor lawn mower, play with playdough, roll around, wrestle, swim and do anything with water. He enjoys looking at pictures, especially of family. He has great recall, especially with people. He can remember names and places that he has only met or been to once.

Will wakes up every day with a smile on his face and curiosity to explore the day ahead. With his wonderful sense of humor and contagious laughter, Will exemplifies joy. Might we all take a note from Will’s life…never give up, never stop smiling, and never lose your sense of wonder.