The Family Story
-by Dan Brezgel (Dad)
I always love a good story… especially the ones where there is a happy ending as you journey with the characters throughout the entire adventure!
Well, I hope this story does have a happy ending for our family in our own story. We thank all who help us along the way!
Our story began years ago when I fell in love with my best friend. It sounds cliche I know, but it was true. Our likes and interests were similar and it was always enjoyable to hang out. Of course, I never thought she would be “the one,” but what a great surprise that it turned into as we began dating.
We eventually got married and shortly after had our first baby girl, Samantha. She was beautiful and I truly enjoyed the time I spent with her!
Samantha did have some complications, however. She was born with severe club feet and needed special casts and braces to help her feet grow correctly.
A couple years went by with many visits to doctors and specialists to help with her legs and feet. We did everything we could to help make her better, but the bills started to add up quickly, even with my family health insurance coverage.
With those bills piling up and having other financial troubles, we went through our first foreclosure and bankruptcy.
We simply bit off more than we could chew and just couldn’t afford all of the bills and the home we lived in.
I often think about what we could have done differently to prevent that from happening and loosing our first home.
Within a month after the bankruptcy, we were audited by the IRS – due to a software glitch in the tax software we had used by H&R Block.
If it was a couple hundred dollars, that would have been okay, but instead It was a couple thousand dollars and it put us further into the hole.
I was almost in tears as they were saying they could take everything… and sadly we had nothing left but a small savings account to help us in case of emergency.
I did pay for audit defense that year, but it didn’t fix the problem and we still lost all of our money.
Our H&R representative at the time kept telling us that the IRS was slow to appeal, yet the money was taken out the next year before we could get a date to appeal the decision.
We eventually had an appeal and stopped them from trying to take even more money from us.
We then moved to a small apartment that we could afford and had our second child, Madeline.
Another angel came into our life – and she arrived early. Madeline was premature and stayed in the hospital for a few weeks.
For her first year, we dealt with many late nights of her screaming due to her digestion problems that the doctors just couldn’t figure out.
Poor Madeline was in pain so often during the week and there was little we could do to ease the pain.
We were often in the emergency room at the hospital for we feared the worst- her screams got more and more intense.
Eventually, she got better and thankfully she is now a healthy and happy little girl.
I was always wanting to even the odds and wanted a son… and so it happened – we were expecting a baby boy in 2012.
We figured there was no way we could have any troubles this time around. We even double and triple checked in the ultrasounds to make sure nothing was wrong with our new baby boy.
The doctors said we had a healthy baby boy and had nothing to worry about.
On June 6, 2012 Calvin was born and in a few hours he changed everything we knew to be true.
Within a few hours of birth, we were told that our son was born without eyes and that there were other health concerns about him.
I felt numb and my ears began to ring as I stood in the birthing room in complete shock.
I watched as my wife cried uncontrollably. We were completely choked up and I held her in my arms.
The room was uncomfortably quiet for awhile after hearing the news.
An ambulance soon came to rush Calvin to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, and from there we found out Calvin not only had no eyes, but was 100% deaf, unable to be fed by mouth and had to get a feeding tube surgically implanted into his small tummy.
They discovered that his brain has a small corpus collosum (bridge between left and right brain), and he was placed on medicine for seizures.
Calvin’s particular syndrome is called SOX2 Anopthalmia with his particular case being only of 40 people in the entire world!
The government genetics website (link above) shows this syndrome affects 1 out of 250,000, however, according to our Children’s Hospital Genetics researchers he is only of 40 cases reported worldwide
And so the story continues…
Our family has been through a lot and with your donations & sponsorships we will be able to help pay for the many medical procedures and testing, trips to other specialists outside the state, doctors, medical supplies, home supplies as well as home care that will cost a lot of money for our family.
Together, we can help Calvin and the family
Let’s help them save their home. Please consider contributing. Even only a few dollars can help make a difference! Any and all donations go through the Caring For Calvin GoFundMe Campaign and then go directly to the family.