Beating the Odds: Finding joy in unexpected moments

Calvin Dedert was born with a rare neurological disorder. He isn't able to walk or talk. In fact, his parents once struggled with the reality that he might not have long to live.

But now, Calvin is 6 and has proved he is a fighter.

Calvin has inspired his family more than they ever imagined, teaching them to find joy in unexpected moments.

"I think a lot of times as parents of special needs kids, we set up this false battle. Only if we overcome or exceed the diagnoses are we going to live successfully," said his mom, Kara. "I guess what Calvin has taught us is that even though he hasn't overcome those diagnoses and his condition remains terminal, he in many ways has overcome the odds with who he is. His willingness to fight everyday, to be joyful and embrace the moment. I think that's what we've learned as a family: not to pit ourselves our against his circumstances, but to embrace who he is."

Kara runs an online support group for moms of special needs kids called Live Better With Disability, a place where they can connect and receive encouragement.

(If you or someone you know is Beating the Odds, we would love to share you story. Email

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