WILLIAMSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY, PA (WTAJ) – The moment Lucinda Richardson met her son Josh Richardson, she knew immediately that she had a bundle of blessings.
“The best thing about him is his unconditional love,” said Lucinda. “He’s just a great guy.”
Their journey together was anything but easy.
Josh, who is now 20 years old, was born with a rare genetic disorder called tetrasomy 9q with a cleft palate. Lucinda said any doctors could really tell them Josh had a rare chromosomal disorder, needed to see a specialist, and that children like him often suffer from failure to thrive.
“When they added Josh to the database, there was no other match with his diagnosis at all,” explained Lucinda. “He was really unique.”
Not knowing exactly what to expect, Lucinda was forced to take things day in and day out and give Josh the best life he could have regardless of the obstacles.
“Our biggest challenge with Josh is that he’s non-verbal,” said Lucinda. “It can be a challenge for him to communicate his needs and desires. The other challenge at the moment is more or less the transport because he is bound to a wheelchair. “
The family does not currently have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. This makes it difficult for Lucinda, Josh’s main supervisor, to take him places.
The family hopes the community can help them raise enough money to get them a new van.
“For Josh, this means a lot more freedom when it comes to getting to places,” said Lucinda. “Right now we kind of limit ourselves to where we’re going just because it’s so much work getting him in and out.”
Josh has been operated on after the operation throughout his life, but it has not overturned him. He likes pets, the outdoors, rings the bells for the Salvation Army, and works hard at school.
“He’s a determined kid,” said Lucinda.
The family is currently collecting donations for the wheelchair-accessible vehicle.
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