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I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to someone very special, that I had the honor of photographing this weekend: this is Lennon. Not only is he just an awesome kid, he's also got the most caring eyes, he's studious, and, as I recently discovered, an Ace at tag. Lennon is autistic. And this brave soul is heading for surgery shortly.

When Lennon was born his parents found out he had a hole in his heart (technically : *secundum type atrial septal defect with dilated right ventricle *left anterior fascicular block and complete right bundle branch block). At that time it was 4-5mm and the doctors hoped it would close on its own. When he was three they found out it had grown to 7-8mm and he would need surgery. This heart problem is apparently common with his genetic abnormality 8p23.1 duplication syndrome, as his mom tells me.

Fast forward to age four (2020) and given all the up and downs with a Pandemic, it was unsure when he would get that surgery. Well we know now.

Lennon, now five, is scheduled in for surgery next week. It is hoped that they will be able to do a less invasive procedure to put in a catheter into his heart, however his Cardio Team couldn't get a good echocardiogram at their last appointment, so they will have to do a sedated Echo immediately before surgery. There is a complication which might mean he needs to have open heart surgery, instead of the less invasive option. Until the day of surgery they won't know which way it will go. As a parent , my heart squeezes just knowing the worry his parents are under with this uncertainty.

Lennon has a journey ahead of him, and his family has one in carrying the worry and caring for him. But let me tell you, he has an amazing family to support him. He's a testament to their love.

So join me in sending all of the healing vibes, prayers and thoughts Lennon's way as he starts out on his journey.

If you would like to donate to his GoFundMe, you can do so here.

You can follow Lennon's journey here.

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