Two kids with disabilities, one resilient family's message

Olmsted Falls Family teaches us lesson about hope

OLMSTED FALLS - Heath and Mariel Krakowiak of Olmsted Falls have two kids with physical and mental disabilities in their one amazingly resilient, inspirational family.

They’re rising above despite no official diagnosis for either of the children.

Despite the fact their family doesn't look exactly like what the Krakowiaks imagined when they married.

"If it was a girl we would shop and do crafts like I did with my mom.  If it was a boy, he'd play sports outside,” Mariel Krakowiak says, then stops short, choked up, looks away and says “Sorry."

It’s part of a documentary in the works called “Unconditional”. 

It’s a raw look at their everyday struggles with two nonverbal special needs children.

"It would be so invaluable to put myself in their head for 10 minutes and feel it.  To know what it sounds like, what it looks like," says Heath Krakowiak.

"We take one day at a time, thankful, trying to do what we can to make them independent and the best people that they can be and have fun in the meantime,” say the Krakowiaks.

Colbie, 9 and Lleyton, 6 are part of the National Institutes of Health's undiagnosed diseases and disorders study.

The Krakowiaks call it a "bank of information" that may someday lead to some answers for them and for others.

The “Unconditional” documentary is this Northeast Ohio family's way to speak up for others in the name of their kids who have yet to speak a word.

"We’re hoping to reach other families like ours and let them know they're not alone.  Also, maybe healthcare, potentially. You know, talk funding and resources that if things do change, kids like ours will be missing out on some opportunities," says Mariel Krakowiak.

From their unique situation also come universal words to live by.

"Some of the things we get so worked up over really don't matter.  It's the little things in life, little milestones and little triumphs that are the things to really celebrate," says Mariel Krakowiak.

This up close and personal look into the Krakowiaks lives only  begins to scratch the surface of healthcare and special needs in america.

There are so many out of pocket expenses for them just to get by.

The documentary being made, again is  appropriately called "unconditional." To view the trailer for the film and the Kickstarter to help fund it, click here.

 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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