WILLIAMSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The moment Lucinda Richardson met her son, Josh Richardson, she immediately knew she had a bundle of blessings.
“The best thing about him is his unconditional love,” Lucinda said. “He is just an amazing guy.”
Their journey together has been anything but simple.
Josh, who is now 20 years old, was born with a rare genetic disorder known as Tetrasomy 9q with a cleft palate. Lucinda said all doctors could really tell them was that Josh had a rare chromosome disorder, would need to see a specialist and that children like him often suffer from failure to thrive.
“When they put Josh in the database there was no other match at all with his diagnosis,” Lucinda explained. “He was truly one of a kind.”
With no way of knowing exactly what to expect, Lucinda was forced to take things day by day and give Josh the best life he could have no matter the obstacles.
“Our number one biggest challenge with Josh is that he is nonverbal,” Lucinda told us. “So for him to communicate his needs and wants can be challenging. The other challenge right now is more or less the transportation because he is wheelchair bound.”
The family doesn’t have a wheelchair accessible vehicle right now. This makes it difficult for Lucinda, Josh’s main caregiver, to take him places.
The family is hoping the community can help them raise enough money to get them a new van.
“For Josh it will mean a lot more freedom as far as getting to go places,” Lucinda said. “Right now we kind of limit where we go just because it is so much work having to get him in and out.”
Throughout his entire life, Josh has gone through surgery after surgery, but it hasn’t brought him down. He enjoys pets, the outdoors, rings bells for the salvation army and works hard at school.
“He is one determined kid,” Lucinda said.
The family is currently fundraising for the wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.