Taking On (Darth) VADER and VATER With FORCE

by Alex Garrett

Everybody who has a personality enjoyed saying ‘May the 4th Be With You’ this past week. It’s a take on Star Wars ‘May the Force Be With You’! In a way I feel God is pushing me to discuss another issue I and many others tackle with FORCE daily!

Skywalker fought Darth VADER , while many real people fight VATER Association! Have you ever heard of it? If not, you are not alone! Personally, it’s kinda wild to be considered a once in 10k-40k newborn chance to be born with VATER. Yes one baby out of a maximum of 40k births could be born with VATER.

I wince when I’m asked ‘what were you born with’. I don’t even like to think I was born with a condition. However, my face beams when I discuss having VATER and tackling it with FORCE! VATER has been the reason for a life-saving colostomy bag and not even that brings me down! Most definitely God has been the reason why I have been given the ability for rollerblading with one leg came to be , but saddling my body with VATER has built me stronger!

Here is the complete VATER explanation :

“(V) = vertebral abnormalities; (A) = anal atresia; (C) = cardiac (heart) defects; (T) = tracheal anomalies including tracheoesophageal (TE) fistula; (E) = esophageal atresia; (R) = renal (kidney) and radial (thumb side of hand) abnormalities; and (L) = other limb abnormalities.” (From the NIH: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/5443/vacterl-association)

Even reading this I am even more proud to fight to keep my one kidney functioning. I make sure my esophagus is all clear and I ROCK my one leg, with force , babyyyyy!!!

I’ve spent 30 yrs adapting to VATER with the love of the caring nurses and doctors, my family, friends, girlfriend and so many more along the way!

Go forth and research more and if you end up knowing someone with VATER, I’d love to hear their story on Adapting With Alex Garrett!