CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - FACT: Mason Coffey is 16-years-old and lives in Connelly Springs. He is a junior at Jimmy C. Draughn High School and the manager for the football, basketball and girls softball teams.
FACT: Noah Ballard is 10-years-old. A longtime one of our #MollysKids, he is now a 4th grader at Weddington Hills Elementary PTO (Concord, NC) who loves sports, friends, and personality.
FACT: These two boys joined forces. Read on.
Friday is World Dwarfism Day. For five years now, Noah has helped make his classmates more aware of what Dwarfism is, and this year he got more creative by inviting his friend Mason in from Burke County to help the cause.
“The two of them together has had a big impact on other kids understanding Little People,” Noah’s mom, Traci Ballard said. “Mason and Noah have been friends for a long time. They’ve gone to Victory Junction every summer together and decided to work together this year to educate about their lives."
How did they do it? Noah and Mason got on the news announcements together at Noah’s school last week, walked through the kindergarten classes and passed out Dwarfism Awareness information and pencils, and later held a 4th grade assembly to talk about -- and open up -- about things in a personal way. They even took on a Q&A.
Questions were direct. A few that were asked are below. Check them out and then ask yourself honestly, do you know the answers? If not, keep scrolling for the answers.
“How does Dwarfism happen?”
“Is there stuff you can’t do?”
“Do Little People grow?”
[To Mason:] “Can you drive?”
“How do you feel about being called a midget?”
If you don't know all answers... keep going.
“How does Dwarfism happen?” >> Random mutated gene between mom and dad, 80% of children with dwarfism are born to average-height parents.
“Is there stuff you can’t do?” >> Nope. I just may need help.
“Do Little People grow?” >> Yes. At a slower rate. Average height gets to be about 4’6’’.
[To Mason:] “Can you drive?” >> Yes. With peddle extensions and a back cushion.
“How do you feel about being called a midget?” >> “I feel like you're making fun of me where I am just like you, but different. We would be preferred to be called a little person, dwarf or just call us by our name. Midget is just a bad word. We don't say that anymore. You shouldn’t either.”
Remember, tomorrow is World Dwarfism Day. Mason and Noah would appreciate, on behalf of thousands of other “Little People” out there, you sharing what you just learned to help give their community a voice.
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham 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.