Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors

Disabilities: Parents give Kiki their best

The day Chiara “Kiki” Roberts was born, her physician most certainly didn’t win any awards for tact or compassion.

In a telephone interview, Kiki’s father Brian Roberts said, “Kiki had skin tags on the side of her face, abnormalities of the cranio-facial region, low set ears, and a small nose and lower jaw. They rushed her out right away and after a while the doctor returned without her, saying, ‘Your daughter is going to be disabled and probably a vegetable the rest of her life. We think she has Goldenhar syndrome.’ The doctor turned and walked out. My wife and I were flabbergasted.”

Four years later, the Roberts’ learned Kiki had Emanuel (instead of Goldenhar) syndrome, which affects worldwide perhaps a hundred people. According to the National Institutes of Health, the syndrome is a chromosomal disorder disrupting normal development and affecting many parts of the body. Roberts said doctors described the syndrome as a lifelong “severe physical and mental disability.”

At , and now living in Minnesota with family, Kiki has been doing well. Said 41-year-old Roberts of his daughter, “She’s super funny and loves to interact with people. She can’t interact verbally, though. She has a really sweet spirit and can be comical in what she does. She is definitely developing a personality. You can tell when she’s not happy, for example.”

She enjoys school, interacting with peers, and learning to walk. To get around, Kiki presently uses a wheelchair pushed by others. Roberts said kids and adults often seem scared and don’t know how to interact with her.

Though an ordained Southern Baptist pastor, Roberts hasn’t been serving any particular congregation of late. He’s employed in private industry.

While explaining what happened to his daughter from the standpoint of his faith, he said, “Kiki is my child and God blessed me with her. I wouldn’t want her any other way than what she is now and I don’t think God wants her to be any other way. People say they will pray for her healing—we hear that a lot—and my wife and I appreciate those prayers and know God can answer them. If in the future God chooses to heal her and make her ‘normal’, that would be good, too. But for now we are striving to give her the best life we can, just like we do with our other child (a 15-year-old boy).”

Facebook: Disabilities by Daniel J. Vance. [Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod and Palmer Bus Service.]

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By Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC

Contributing Columnist

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2016 News Democrat