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Two Silver Medals: A Child's Achievement Inspires Strength and Hope

From having difficulty holding a bottle to winning two silver medals in a kempo tournament, Declan is a powerful example of what a child with PWS who has supportive parents and a lot of determination can achieve and accomplish.

he-was-awarded-not-one-but-two-silver-medals-a-story-of-strengthA special contribution by guest blogger Allison Shelton

Allison shared her story via our Stories of Hope questionnaire.

How has your child exceeded your expectations?

This past weekend, our 6.5 year old son Declan participated in his first kempo (martial arts) tournament. He first began practicing kempo about 1.5 years ago, as we thought it would be great exercise and strength development (particularly to work on core strength!), in addition to providing a strong sense of mental discipline that would serve him well in all aspects of daily life.

Well, we were incredibly amazed when he was awarded not one, but TWO silver medals for his skill demonstrations at the tournament! It was totally one of those “if I’d known then what I know now ...” moments. As we all know, battling low muscle tone is not easy! The same child who works so hard to achieve all of his physical milestones, starting with just working on developing enough strength to drink from a bottle, excelled in a martial arts tournament!

We are so incredibly proud of Declan — his hard work and determination and focus is an inspiration to us!

What would you say to inspire a parent whose child has recently been diagnosed with PWS?

You will be truly amazed at what your child will achieve and accomplish. There is so much reason to hope and dream!!


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Topics: Stories of Hope

Susan Hedstrom


Susan Hedstrom is the Executive Director for the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. Passionate about finding treatments for PWS, Susan joined FPWR in 2009 shortly after her son, Jayden, was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Rather than accepting PWS as it has been defined, Susan has chosen to work with a team of pro-active and tireless individuals to accelerate PWS research in order to change the future of PWS. Inspired by her first FPWR conference and the team of researchers that were working to find answers for the syndrome, she joined the FPWR team in 2010 and led the development of the One SMALL Step walk program. Under Susan’s leadership, over $15 million has been raised for PWS related research.