Meet the 2-year-old Flint boy featured on Time magazine’s water crisis cover

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FLINT, Mich. -- As multiple investigations are being launched to get to the bottom of the water crisis, families in Flint are still dealing with unsafe water. Parents have said they're worried about the long term affects it could have on their children.

One of those kids, a 2-year-old named Sincere, became the "face of the crisis" after being featured on  Time Magazine.

On Tuesday, FOX 17's Cassandra Arsenault spoke with the toddler's mom, Ariana Hawk. She said he's been suffering from the lead contaminated water for more than a year now.

Sincere is like most toddlers. He's telling stories and playing with toys, but for half his life he's dealt with a rash that's taken over his entire body.

"[As] soon as they turned over the water, his skin got messed up and it's been messed up ever since," Hawk said.  "It isn’t something he’s had all his life,  it's literally something that happened a year ago."

The rash is something that may go unnoticed, given his energetic personality, but he's been dealing with it for much of his young life.  It's a rash that began at the age of one, which is around the same time Flint began getting its water from the Flint River, as opposed to the Detroit water supply. It was a cost cutting measure made by state appointed officials. Ever since, Sincere is terrified of water, and his mother has a hard time getting him in a bath.

"We went like a year and a half without nobody knowing so for everyone knowing now it's a good thing," said Hawk.

Sincere's mother said the rash healed significantly because she started bathing her kids in bottled water that they heat up over the stove and then pour into their tub.

As the Flint water crisis began getting more national attention, Sincere was put in that spotlight. He was featured on the cover of Time Magazine, becoming a symbol for families affected in Genessee County.

Hawk said a lot of kids in Flint are suffering from rashes and blisters. Doctors advise her to keep her son away from the water and said they can't tell her if this will affect him for the rest of his life.

"It's just a wait game for this," said Hawk. "You just wait and see, it's crazy."

Hawk said her older son and her youngest daughter did not suffer the same symptoms, but life has certainly changed for them too.

"They can’t have bath time like normal kids," Hawk said. "There's a lot of things that kids can do with water that they can’t do right now, they can’t have it in their mouth or anything like that."

Even dinner time is an ordeal.  A stack of water cases in their living room is their life line and they try to limit themselves to a case and a half of water per day.

Police and fire departments, as well as various organizations are stopping by their home making daily deliveries of bottled water. They're also asking the same questions everyone wants the answers to: How extensive is this damage and how long will it take to resolve the issue?

 

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