In many ways, Austin Niehus is your typical 14-year-old boy. He loves basketball, football, soccer, track, and reading. But Austin is exceptional in one very special way.
Austin has Goldenhar syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes a craniofacial birth defect of the face and head, usually affecting the eyes, ears, and vertebrae. Born deaf and without an ear, doctors told his mother that he would not live to see his first birthday. But Austin has defied the odds.
By the age of 14, he has already undergone 52 corrective surgeries. He is now awaiting his 53rd surgery to repair his open pallet, a procedure that is not covered by insurance. With a financial strain being placed on his mom — a single mother of three — Austin made this video to try to raise the $4,000 necessary for his upcoming June surgery.
Despite spending a good portion of his life in the hospital, and enduring bullying and teasing by his peers, Austin has an incredible spirit! He reminds us that “No one should be ashamed of how they look,” and that “God made us exactly how we are supposed to be.”
He is described as a kind, intelligent, and brave young boy. I couldn’t agree more!
Check out Austin’s fundraising page HERE!
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