This is one of those stories that makes me feel incredibly fortunate -- and beyond grateful -- to have two healthy children. Not because 9-year-old Clara Beatty isn't an amazing kid who fills her parents with absolute joy. It's precisely because Clara Beatty is such an amazing kid -- and watching her suffer must fill those same parents with absolute sorrow.
I'm afraid I'd let the sorrow take over, but Janet and Eric Beatty must have big enough hearts to handle it all, because Clara seems like a sincerely happy and normal child in spite of her rare condition: Treacher Collins Syndrome.
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Treacher Collins Syndrome is a genetic mutation that causes severe facial deformities which can make simple things like eating and breathing extremely difficult. But on the inside, Clara is a kid like any other, and by some miracle of parenting wisdom or love or grace, I think she knows she's a kid like any other.
The best part is, that's exactly what her friends think, too. Of course Clara gets questions and looks from strangers (which she calls "annoying"), but her classmates are so used to seeing Clara as "normal" that apparently they didn't even understand why reporters came to their school to do a story about her.
The most remarkable thing the kids could come up with about Clara?
Seriously, how 'awesome' is this kid?
Image via AssociatedPress/YouTube
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside