I am now in my fourth year riding for the courage. This year I have the priveledge of linking back up with Cliff (or Cliffie as I like to call him)! This kiddo is amazing, in the fact that he has not only battled congenital heart defect (which is why I got to know him from a few days old) but a bunch of other defects related to a genetic disorder. He is doing well, and has such personality. I have been blessed to see him not only celebrate birthdays, but also celebrate becoming a big brother! He is surrounded by an amazing support system that I feel blessed to be a part of. So help me help kids like Cliff, who battle disease and defects on a daily basis. They are true warriors! Below is Cliff's bio written by his mother.
Lil Cliff Rivard
We found out at our twenty-week pre-natal checkup that our son had extensive health issues. They were able to see that he had a spinal defect and they could see that his heart had not formed correctly. The Dr. was certain that he had a life threating genetic abnormality and explained that Cliff would probably pass away while we were pregnant or shortly after birth. We were asked if we wanted to terminate our pregnancy or continue on knowing that his prognosis was so grim. We were in a state of absolute shock. We couldn't even think because we were filled with such sorrow and disbelief and helplessness. We were already mourning this sweet little child and yet I could still feel him moving around inside of me. As we waited for the Doctor to come back in expecting our answer we both just knew that this little man came in to our lives for a reason and even though he might not make it we had to give him that chance to fight. We told the Doctor we would like to run every test possible to see what abnormality we were dealing with. We had prayed that he may be wrong we sat at home as test after test came in and we were so thrilled the tests showed none of the life threating genetic abnormalities. After hearing of this news the Doctor did another ultra sound then recommended we see the specialists at Children's Hospital. After coming to Children's we have a diagnosis and a game plan. Cliff has thrown us many curve balls and has proven just how rare and one of a kind he is. Cliff has Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome which has afflicted him with:
Left Ventricle Hypoplasia
Detached retina in his left eye
Coloboma in right eye
He is non-verbal
GJ tube fed
Even with all of this Lil Cliff is the sweetest soul, he is so patient and smiley and exuberant. He's charismatic and downright adorable. He radiates love and although he is non- verbal he has a great sense of humor and his personality shines through. Lil Cliff is filled with innocence, joy and bravery. We all want to be just like him when we grow up. Lil Cliff and Emily met through his many surgeries, she was there for Cliff and us on the scariest night we have had with him. She truly cares for Cliff and we are so happy she has come into our lives. Emily is a great nurse and we are lucky to call her our friend.