Local boy’s diagnosis leads mom to become a spina bifida champion

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HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Back in 2018 when Ashlyn Dugan was just a few months pregnant, she discovered that he baby was diagnosed with a condition called spina bifida. Spina bifida is a condition where the spinal cord doesn’t develop properly in the womb, and in her son’s case, it formed in a sack on his back.

Some doctors encouraged Ashlyn to abort her baby, warning her of the lifelong troubles that could come with the diagnosis. Ashlyn and her husband Cody traveled to seek out a second opinion. When the couple met with other doctors, they quickly realized that their baby could live a normal life, and would be able to walk on his own some day.

When their son Liam was born, he overcame two surgeries in the first year of his life. He is striving and defeating all of the odds against him.

Now, at 3 years old, Ashlyn’s son Liam walks, climbs, and runs like any other 3-year-old you would meet. While it took work to get to where he is now, Liam, and his family work to raise awareness for his condition and for other kids that live with it. Love from Liam Foundation is an organization established by his mom, Ashlyn. The goal is to raise money for kids with spina bifida and to help fund walkers, special shoes, and treatment for them.

Ashlyn also hosts an event through the foundation called ‘Laps for Liam.‘ This event also raises awareness for spina bifida and encourages the community to come together to walk and learn more about the condition.

Spina Bifida Awareness Day is on October 25th. Join Liam and his family by supporting the cause by wearing yellow. You can purchase a Love From Liam Foundation t-shirt by visiting the organization’s website.

Ashlyn also wrote a children’s book to honor her son, Liam and his condition. The book is called Larry the Magical Dinosaur, and it’s about a dinosaur who doesn’t let his differences define him because it makes him who he is. It’s an example of courage and strength!

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