Christopher was born preterm at 23 weeks, weighing only one pound, five ounces. Before he was even two weeks old, he had had a heart surgery and a colostomy, a surgical procedure that connects the colon to the abdominal wall. Christopher spent months in the hospital, and was on oxygen for one year. By age 2, Christopher could speak complex words, but would not say “mama” or “dada.” Then he lost all ability to speak. At the age of 4, Christopher was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, an autism-spectrum disorder characterized by difficulty with social interactions and restricted and repetitive behaviors or interests. After diagnosis, Christopher started therapy at The HSC Pediatric Center, which helped him learn to communicate and gain independence. Now reads at a high school level and continues to improve his socialization skills. He loves sports and is an all-star participant in The HSC Pediatric Center’s Kids in Action adaptive sports program. He also likes to ride horses and read, and is constantly smiling.