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Living with dwarfism

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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Many of us have come to associate October with Breast Cancer Awareness, but did you know it's also Dwarfism Awareness month? You may also be surprised to learn that a child with dwarfism is born one out of every ten thousand births, and 80 percent of people with dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings.

Such is the case for Ocean Springs kindergartner, Levi Krystosek, a six-year-old kindergarten student at Magnolia Park Elementary School. 

Levi may be small in stature, but he's big in personality and heart. Levi doesn't let his size get in the way of doing everything his taller classmates do even on the playground. He runs, jumps, and climbs like everyone else, and says the height of the stairs and ladders, don't bother him. 

He said with a big smile, "If they're big it's okay, if they're small that's okay I can do it."

His mom, Dona Krystosek said she thought it was important to share Levi's story with South Mississippi, especially during Dwarfism Awareness month.

"With awareness is acceptance and people need to know that little people like Levi are just like everyone else. He's a little spitfire like any six-year-old," she said.

There are 200 types of Dwarfism and Levi is one of only 20 cases in the world with his rare type. His Mom said he was diagnosed near the time of his first birthday.

"He has Jansen's Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia. At the time he was diagnosed there were 17 cases in the world, now there are 20 reported cases that we know of."

It is rare to have any mental cognition issues in conjunction with dwarfism and Dona said little people like Levi simply want to be treated like everyone else; and most of all to be accepted.

"You know when you meet people that are different and start talking to them you find out a lot of good, and you may have a lot in common, so I would want them to be accepting to little people with difference," Dona said.

She said it was a whole new world for her too when Levi was born, along with her older daughters and husband.

"I had seen little people, but had never met one my entire life. This was a spontaneous genetic mutation." 

Today, she said, she wouldn't change a thing.

"Levi is Levi and he's my heart," she added.

If you'd like to learn more about Levi and Dwarfism click here.

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