How to describe Wesley? If you ask around the PLAE office you’ll hear many answers of “hello jello!”—his favorite greeting—and lots of stories from those Wesley has made smile, giggle, and roll with laughter. You might say he’s a sweet spirit, a hyper mischief-maker, and at the end of the day, just like any other kiddo.
photos provided by the Llavore family
Wes may sound familiar...he is actually the namesake for our Wes sport sandal! And you may also recognize Wes’s dad, Albert, our resident DJ and developer wizard. Because we’re one big family at PLAE, this story holds a special place in our hearts.
The Llavore family has been on a journey since Wes was born and diagnosed with cortical dysplasia at one. He struggled with seizures, developmental delays, sensory processing issues, and autistic tendencies. We can happily report that at five years old, Wes has made major improvements in his speech and overall development, with the help of therapy and schooling. Recently, a teacher recommended a test that revealed Wes has Fragile X disorder.
Tiny Wes has grown into a smiley kiddo who just graduated pre-k!
Fragile X is a genetic condition considered to be the most common identified cause of inherited intellectual disability and the most common known cause of autism or autism spectrum disorders. For the Llavores, this gives a new window into Wes’s world. As his parents say: “This means that he will deal with situations a little differently than other kids. There will be days where he will inexplicably meltdown—unable to communicate when he’s overloaded with excitement, fear or just plain tired. It’s tough as a parent to see how it can isolate him from other kids, but we guarantee as tough as this situation can be at times, he’s tougher and much more resilient. Wes has taught us so much about compassion, selflessness, and determination. We are so lucky to have him as our son.”
The whole family have become advocates for Fragile X awareness and are planning to participate in X Strides, a 5K Walk for Fragile X on July 15. Visit their team page if you’d like to donate directly to their goal. You can also PLAE-it-forward by using code GIVE680 at checkout, and PLAE will donate 10% of your purchase to the National Fragile X Foundation and Fly With Me Fund in support of research, awareness, and treatment. In honor of smiley Wesley’s shoe, we’ll also be automatically donating 10% of all Wes sandal purchases. We’ve got your back, Wes! Shop now to earn a donation.