A diagnosis of Cri du Chat (or 5P-), used to mean institutionalization. The name is french meaning “cry of a cat” which comes from the distinct sound children with the illness make. 5P is also characterized by microcephaly (improper brain development resulting in a smaller head), issues with muscle tone, and a lower than normal birth weight.
In the past, children with a diagnosis of 5P were expected to only live a few years, never speak, and never walk.
Now, thanks to years of research and early intervention, children with this diagnosis are doing remarkably well.
Wade Jones is one of the success stories. He’s a first grader who was diagnosed with 5P at just three months old. With family support, speech therapy, special education teachers, and some wonderful friends, Wade has been doing quite well.
Wade plays basketball, rides a specially designed bike, swims, knows American Sign Language, and can even say a few words.
One of his favorite activities is playing with his fifth grade best friend Emerson, or “Mimi” Snook. Mimi has loved Wade since he was born. The family calls her Nanny, attesting to how much she comes over to play with him and take care of her little friend. Every day is a new adventure– they play on the trampoline, run, or play with the family dog or toys in the backyard.
Mimi Says – “Wade and I are best friends for life, and we love each other so much.”
Mimi’s mom says she’s a natural caregiver. But her love for Wade goes above caring for him. She wants to make a bigger difference for Wade’s family and for other children who have his condition.
5K for 5P
Three years ago, Mimi started a 5K race to raise awareness for 5P and to help financially support families like Wade’s and the 5P Minus Society.
The fourth annual 5K will be held on October 6, 2018. The registration fee is 30 dollars, or 20 dollars for those 12 and under. You can register for the race here, and read exactly how the money is utilized.
You can also read the full story of Mimi and Wade’s friendship here.
Their story is another remarkable testimony to the power of friendship and the power of continued scientific research. Wade’s family is thankful he was born in a time where early intervention therapies were an option. This little boy who was once told he’d never walk or talk, is now running, jumping, yelling, and playing. His vocabulary is only getting stronger, and who knows what wonderful things the future holds for this strong little boy and his best friend Mimi.