October is dwarfism awareness month, as declared by the Little People of America organization. Little People of America (LPA) is a national support organization for people with dwarfism and their families. LPA provides peer, parent and medical support for the dwarfism community.
Meet Gabe. My brother.
Handsome devil, ya?
That’s 26 years of wisdom, art, compassion, musical talent, empathy, bad decisions, good decisions, killer customer service, listening skills crammed tightly into a 4′ something frame.
Q: What is the definition of dwarfism?
A: Little People of America (LPA) defines dwarfism as a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” or shorter, among both men and women.
Did you know?
- There are over 200 distinct forms of dwarfism.
- The most common is achondroplasia affecting approximately one per 26,000 – 40,000 births.
- Gabriel has Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia (CHH)
- CHH is an extremely rare form of dwarfism, most seen in people of Finnish descent. Outside of this population, its incidence is unknown.
- People with dwarfism are generally not taller than 4′ 10″ at adult height. The typical height range is 2’8″ to 4’5″.
- 80% of people with dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings (waving).
- There are an estimated 30,000 people in the United States and 651,000 internationally with a type of dwarfism.
- The word “midget” is inappropriate and offensive.
- Preferable terms are: having dwarfism, short stature, little person, lp, and the medical terminology use of dwarf.
- Of course calling someone by their name is always appropriate. 🙂
- Dwarfism affects bone growth, but generally, does not affect cognitive abilities.
- LPA hosts an annual national conference each July which draws 2500 attendees for a week of activities, including educational and medical workshops, sports, and social networking and events.
As I previously shared via social media;
Gabe is an artist, a dreamer, a philosopher, a stellar employee, a writer, a great listener, a contemplator, deeply loyal, a musician, uniquely stylish and charismatic.
Gabriel doesn’t have dwarfism, he’s a dwarf.
Gabriel isn’t limited or different, he’s just shorter than the average height.
Gabriel doesn’t go against the “status quo” because he’s a dwarf, but rather because he’s Gabe. He’s himself and uniquely so, just as you and I are too.
Gabriel is a son, brother, friend, uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin, employee, a human being.
Gabe is wiser than his 26 years and shows his wisdom through his writings and in conversations. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to have a chat with my bro, you know just how philosophical and ingenious he really is.
Gabriel is a dwarf, but more importantly, he’s a person.
And rad as hell.
For more info on dwarfism, please visit www.lpaonline.org