Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

La Monstrua

Shown below on the left,  is a portrait of Dona Eugenia Martinez Vallejo. This was created by the Spanish baroque court painter, Juan Carreno de Miranda (1616-1685). It was painted in 1680, when she was 6-years-old. She was brought to the court of Charles II of Spain and given the name, "La Monstrua" or "The Monster".

Nicholas John Peters in 2010 at 8-years-old
 Eugenia Martinez Vallejo in 1680 at 6-years-old

It is said that upon seeing this painting in a museum in Madrid, Dr. Andrea Prader immediately recognized her features to be consistent with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Although we may never know if this child did in fact, have PWS, the painting and 17th century descriptions of her condition strongly support this hypothesis. This painting is often regarded as the earliest illustrations of PWS.

La Monstrua has continued to be an intriguing figure as evidenced by an outdoor sculpture in Aviles created in 1997 by the Spanish artist Amado Gonzalez Hevia who based his sculpture on Juan Cerreno de Miranda's portraits of Eugenia.

Shown above on the right, is my son, Nicholas in the year 2010 at the age of 8-years-old. (He is performing the Pledge of Allegiance).

It is amazing how far we have come in 330 years.

Once again, these photos are a true testament to the miraculous benefits of GH (growth hormone) to children diagnosed with PWS.

GH has allowed my son to become longer, leaner and stronger. It has helped with his fine and gross motor abilities. It has strengthened his spine and improved his scoliosis. He breathes and speaks better. His coordination and balance is improved. His overall strength and endurance is greatly improved.   

To put it simply, GH has allowed my son and many others diagnosed with PWS, to live healthier and longer lives.

It is important to remember however, that GH treatment does not assist individuals diagnosed with PWS to control their insatiable appetities.

For this, there is still no cure.