Floyd-Henry Morley is a little cutie.
He’s 18 months old, so ‘little’ would be a word most people would use to describe a toddler.
But ‘Floydy’ will always be little.
Shortly after he was born, his parents discovered their precious first baby had achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder. A form of dwarfism.
Jade and Ross Morley are of average height and don’t have anything in their family history or their DNA that would have warned them that their baby might be born with achondroplasia. It’s a 1 in 40,000 chance.
“I never thought I’d have a baby with a problem,” said Jade.
“It’s not in our DNA.
“But stuff happens. It could happen to anyone.”
Devastated by the news and wanting to connect with other families going through a similar situation, Jade did some research on the net. She wasn’t able to find the support she was seeking so set up the Floyd-Henry Morley blog.
The accompanying video explaining the diagnosis has turned this brave and inspirational mother into a slightly reluctant, albeit grateful, dwarfism advocate.
A single post on floydhenrymorley.com can reach 200,000 people. More still have contacted the family directly, grateful to them for sharing their story.
“At the time of Floyd’s diagnosis I needed support but all I could find was doom and gloom,” Jade said.
“And selfishly, I wanted our local community to know who Floyd was.
“I didn’t want to have to keep explaining Floyd’s situation to everybody and didn’t want to face those stares.
“But mostly I hope it will make Floydy’s life easier. It has educated families and our community. Everyone knows him!
“I don’t have to explain myself all the time and that’s really nice.
“We’ve had contact from thousands of families with children with differences and they’ve said the video has really helped them.
“It’s not just helping dwarfism, it’s helping difference.”
The initial “shock” of Floyd’s diagnosis has subsided and the couple, from coastal NSW, are now on a mission to help their son face the future and educate as many people as possible about his condition.
“The blog is really to make Floydy’s life easier. People can understand why he is the way he is and perhaps educate their children too,” Jade said.
“He’s small. His bones just don’t grow as quickly. That’s it.”
The family’s clever catch cry – he’s just small, that’s all – at once rallied support and explained to people that Floydy is like any other little boy.
“The funny thing is I’m still trying to comes to grips with all this myself. I need support too,” Jade said.
“As a parent of a child with achondroplasia, you’ll always have more worries in the back of your head.
“Sometimes it’s still really, really hard.
“That he’s little doesn’t get me anymore but it’s everything that comes with it.”
But the couple’s wishes for their “determined and full of personality” son are simple.
“I hope everyone accepts him,” Jade said.
“I hope he’s not affected by the stares.
“I hope he doesn’t come across too many ignorant people.
“People are going to say nasty things to him, but our style of parenting is not to shield him.
“Maybe he’ll help them learn (how to be more accepting of differences).”
Follow Floyd-Henry’s journey at floydhenrymorley.com, on Facebook & Instagram
Watch the family’s video, Our Journey, here
Jade is pregnant with twins, due in March and I wish her and Ross all the very best. Floydy and the twins are very lucky to have parents as loving, intelligent, strong and kind.