My husband and I are Biggest Loser fans. Love the show. Last season I wanted to be friends with all of the contestants and even had a small desire to have Jillian (the trainer) yell and scream at me. Love it. This season I haven't been as big of a fan. Haven't really had time to sit down and watch it. Haven't gotten as emotionally involved as I have in the past. Until this past week.
The guy that was most recently voted off is named Jay. He and his brother, Mark, were the last surviving "couple" on the ranch. They are born and raised Massachusetts people. They love each other like brothers should. They say things like "cah" for car and "hahd" for hard. The people of Boston would be proud. This Southern girl has to listen hard to understand some of their words. I'm sure they would need an interpreter for my twang, too. God bless America. :) Anyhoo, after a contestant is voted off, the Biggest Loser people give an update on them and let you know how much weight they've lost since being on the show, show their families and how their new healthy lifestyle is changing them, etc. Jay was coordinating a 10K walk/run to support the Beckwith-Wiedemann Children's Foundation. Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome is a rare pediatric disorder that Jay's daughter has. Characteristics are a large tongue, larger than normal height and weight, large birth weight, a higher tendency to develop childhood cancers like Wilm's Tumor and hepatoblastoma, abdominal wall defects, earlobe creases (that's a weird one), low blood sugar, etc. Characteristics in each child vary by degree and the scary part of the Syndrome (the tendency for cancer) is all but outgrown by age 8 or 9. Beckwith-Wiedemann kids are monitored for these cancers very closely. They have blood work done every 6 weeks to check liver function and have abdominal ultrasounds done every 3 months to check for abdominal tumors.
Here's the clincher.
My middle daughter, Tait, has it, too.
It's so rare that I've never met anyone else with it. I've NEVER seen in in any sort of national news. I was floored. My husband was floored. And we were INSTANT Jay fans.
The number of kids who have Beckwith-Wiedemann is 1 in 15,000. That's RARE. To show you how rare, here's a statistic. In the year 2004, 4.1 million kids were born in the United States. Only 274 of them had Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. My daughter was born in 2005. I'm sure her statistic is very similar.
Wanna read about Beckwith-Wiedemann? Support them? Learn something new today? Visit the website. Beckwith-Wiedemann Children's Foundation.
Please pray for every BWS parent who has to go through cancer screenings for their child every 6 weeks. It's a tense time, but always a peace of mind when the tests come back negative. I know that God has His divine hands on Tait every day. I know he also hears our prayers for her health. He is a just, sovereign God who does all things for good and I trust His every move. I also think He gives us a little extra "wink" every 6 weeks when those tests come back negative.
Oh yeah, go Jay.