Jill explained to me that she suspected something might be wrong toward the end of her pregnancy; she simply didn't gain any additional weight. After little Maddie was born, the McKay's found themselves going through a medical continuum of unanswered questions in the search to find the answer. Finally, after being refered to the M.I.N.D. Institute in Sacramento, they sat before a doctor that gave them their answer: Maddie had Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is a rare genetic condition that includes a variety of health problems, developmental delays and difficulties in learning and is currently estimated to effect 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. And with that news came the realization that the dreams that Jill and David had for their precious little girl would have to change. In fact, David and Jill's own dreams would have to change as well.
When I first met Maddie a couple of weeks ago I was captivated by her smile. She had no inhibitions, just a completely trusting and loving little spirit that welcomed me to come into her world of endless adventures and fun. That sweet innocent trust is actually very typical of someone who has Williams Syndrome and is filled with its own challenges both for Maddie and her parents.
I came away from my short time with the McKay family touched beyond words by their journey. And I can't help feeling that maybe Maddie and all the others who have Williams Syndrome have a few lessons to teach us. For Maddie, it seems that seeing the beauty in this world and especially in people is easy. An important point that I believe may be all too easy for some of us to FORGET in the difficulties of this life.
McKay family, thank you so much for allowing me to share a few hours with your precious family, and for sharing your story. Your strength, your faith and your love inspire me. Enjoy your photos and a new special video that I have created just for you all!
Click here to see the photos...