In Rochester, New York, young Victor Padilla is battling a rare cardiovascular disease—but the 3-year old doesn’t let that slow him down, or keep him from smiling and living like every other child.
Victor is one of only 200 people diagnosed with Cloves, or Congenital Lipomatours Overgrowth with Vascular Anomalies worldwide. The ailment causes the right-side of Victor’s face to swell, as the condition causes one side of his body to grow faster than the other. It is this imbalance which often leads to tumor formation.
Victor’s parents, Jerry and Jennifer, 31, remain positive about their son’s condition.
“We’re so thankful to modern technology and the doctors we have in our lives, you know they have saved our son a million times. I say God made him extra special – we never knew he was going to be able to do all the things he can and he amazes us every day,” Jennifer says.
Jennifer is grateful they learned of Victor’s condition early on, as Cloves is often not detected when a diagnosis is most needed.
“That’s why we are trying to raise awareness,” said Victor’s mom.
She added: “I think the hardest thing to deal with is the unknown, you know the unknown of what the issues are and once we know the issues we can at least grasp them and try to deal with them and figure out how we can overcome them.”
When Victor turned 3-years-old, his parents sent him to pre-school, and they’re are delighted with how he has settled in. Victor is happy, and interacts and plays like any other child, never letting his struggle get the better of his positive attitude.
Eileen Henwood, Victor’s teacher, describes Victor as any other 3-year old: “He loves to play with his friends, play with the cards, have fun and loves to sing. It’s like teaching anybody else. It’s interesting to watch the other kids interact with him because I don’t think any of them do anything different.”
Jennifer explains there are two foundations for Cloves: “There are two different organizations; there is the CLOVES Syndrome Foundation and the CLOVES Syndrome Community and they both have different focuses…The CLOVES Syndrome Community is there to help and support families in need financially for things to medically support their children and the CLOVES Syndrome Foundation, from my understanding, is more towards helping raise money for research.”
Currently, Victor’s condition is stable, and thanks to his wonderful network of friends, family, doctors, and teachers he is living a happy and full life as a child with a bright future ahead.
Victor’s father Jerry describes Victor saying “He is a miracle kid”—and indeed he is!
Images source: Barcroft Images.