Monique Potter is the mother of 4 boys. Her story below is the story of her youngest, Evan.
As you read her story, you'll see she has gone through, and continues to go through struggles.
But you'll also see that Evan has been a huge inspiration to Monique, others and Evan has been exposed to generosity beyond what Monique thought existed. Many have been touched by Evan's story, and we hope you're inspired as we were!
Evan Potter was diagnosed with Diplegic Infintile Cerebral Palsy at the age of three. At first, we thought he was just a little behind on doing things because he was 7 weeks premature. By the time he was 2, we noticed he wasn't quite doing things that he should be. He couldn't roll over, he couldn't hold his bottle, he was drooling quite a bit, when he crawled, he would drag his legs behind him, and he wasn't even trying to stand.
When I first heard the diagnosis, the only thing I kept telling myself was that it was all my fault. Evan was 4 lbs. 12 oz. and I just knew that I was the most blessed person in the world. To look at such a little face that needed me so badly.
I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs. I thought Evan's outcome had to do with my age because my other boys were all healthy. I was devastated. What kind of life is my son going to have in this world we live in today? Who's going to take care of him when I am gone? Why did God do this to us? How long is his life span? These were the thoughts going through my mind.
Evan and I face challenges at times. In 2009, he had his first surgery. The doctors cut the tendons in his groin area and also behind his ankles and stretched them to try and make his legs straight. The positive effects lasted only 5 months. In 2010, he had a heart attack.
Getting him in and out of my vehicle is a chore. There are no ramps where I live. The parking is very narrow so I struggle get him in the car properly. have to use the restroom because he cannot use a public toilet.
We also have the cruelty of some kids that make fun of him. He is too little to understand that they are being mean, so he just smiles and tries to be friends. It hurts my feelings more than anything.
Our biggest challenge is his ability to walk. He has never taken a step on his own, and it looks like he never will. He tries so hard. We finally got his wheelchair and he's learning to control it on his own. He never gives up trying.
We have also had great, inspiring things happen to us as well. Variety presented my son with a special needs bicycle. We are so very thankful that Evan will now get the chance to ride with other kids instead of feeling left out.
Guide dogs of the desert are working on helping to get Evan a service dog. Of course like any kid would be, he's really excited about this.
My son is my life. I could not imagine being without him. He is not only my hero, he is my inspiration. He has a smile that would melt any heart and always keeps a constant smile on his face. Evan is the greatest blessing. This poem is my boy:
You weren't like other children and God was well aware,
You'd need a caring family, with love enough to share.
And so He sent you to us, and much to our surprise,
You haven't been a challenge, but a blessing in disguise.
Your winning smiles and laughter, the pleasures you impart,
... Far outweigh your special needs and melt the coldest heart.
We're proud that we were chosen to help you learn and grow.
The joy that you have brought us is more than you can know.
A precious gift from Heaven, a treasure from above,
A child who's taught us many things, But most of all - "Real Love".