CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - "I'd like you to meet our son Adrien," the email began. "He is our miracle baby."
Eight-year-old Adrien Hedgepath lives in Dallas, NC and goes to Costner Elementary… the same school Abby Ferguson attends. (Abby is one of our #MollysKids I just wrote about two days ago.)
Adrien, a 2nd grader, has autism and a rare chromosome disorder called 1q21.1 microdelection. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Which is why his mom Brandy reached out.
"I want to spread the word about chromosome selection," she said. "NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT."
Adrien struggles with lots of things. He had multiple surgeries as a newborn and spent loads of time in NICU.
"He got the chromosome selection diagnosis after about a year," Brandy says. "But we spent close to the first two years of Adrien's life at Levine Children's Hospital."
She and her husband Carl have taken Adrien to almost every doctor imaginable but because this diagnosis is so rare, she says it's hard to get answers. They say Adrien learns in a "slow and steady" manner.
Brandy emailed multiple times. It's clear she's wildly proud.
"Adrien is a joy and always eager to please," she said. "He has a lot going on. This genetic disorder, ADHD, OCD, anxiety disorder, stomach, kidney and bladder issues and autism. He takes 15 medicines a day and in spite of it all, tries to stay happy. He wants to be a kid."
This is a great "just-being-a-kid"-picture she sent of him fishing.
"He tries to help us all," Brandy said. "And others try to help us back. One of his favorite things to do is clean so the school lets him sweep and pick up things."
Brandy says they're also trying to get Adrien into a special school this year with a self-containment developmental delay autistic classroom.
"Thank you so much for reading about my son," she said. "I think I speak for lots of parents when I say we want someone to hear our stories. I read about all these kids in our area and suddenly don't feel so alone."
*Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Gr antham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there – which is why it's written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story (and updates on all #MollysKids) here.