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The Brezgel Family

Wisconsin Community Rallies Around Baby Born With Rare Genetic Disorder

Sometimes it’s hard to see the good in life, what with all the reports of shootings, hunger and wars going on around the world.  However, it sometimes helps to see how people can take the worst of struggles and turn them into inspiring tales of perseverance and triumph with the help of a supportive community.  I recently came across such a story of a Wisconsin couple who drained their “rainy day” fund within a matter of months when their son was unexpectedly born with a rare genetic disorder.  Although this couple and their child face challenging circumstances, they are inspiring other families in their small town in Wisconsin and now the Internet.

Baby Born With No Eyes and Deaf 

Deborah and Dan Brezgel of Oconomowoc, WI are turning to their local community to help pay for the costs of their son, Calvin’s, medical care.  Calvin was born with SOX2 Anopthalmia,  a rare genetic disorder that affects one out of every 250,000 people.  Calvin’s father says that the first few months of Calvin’s life were an intense struggle, as the toddler cannot see or hear and also suffers from seizures and must be on oxygen all the time.  Calvin must go to different medical specialists at least three times per week, and requires different medical devices including neck braces and hearing aids to help him in his daily life.  Now 16 months old, Calvin’s family writes about his story on their blog Caring for Calvin.

Local Restaurant Rallies Behind Family

The geneticist that Calvin sees says that he can locate only 40 other cases of SOX2 Anopthalmia in the world with symptoms as severe as Calvin’s.  Although the family struggles with finances, local businesses in Oconomowoc and the surrounding area are helping in any way they can.  Curly’s Waterfront Sports Bar and Grill in Pewaukee is holding a fundraiser today to help with costs.  Other families facing an uncertain future with children with genetic disorders or other disabilities say that the Brezgels are an inspiration.  The Brezgels also have two daughters, ages 2 and 4 and faced serious issues with both of those children–including premature birth, club feet and severe digestive problems.  Both girls required extensive medical care, but are both healthy now.  There were no warning signs of birth defects or other problems during the pregnancy with Calvin, and the couple went through second and third ultrasound checks to ensure his health.  They have clearly faced their share of financial issues and heartbreaking circumstances, but continue to persevere.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Kim Riendeau

    Your story touched me personally as my son who is now 23 was born with Anophthalmia and Micophthalmia...what a beautiful story! We also live in Wisconsin...

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