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Masen the Magnificent

Picture of girl with her father

September 2017 – By Michelle Aguilar

It was a privilege sitting down on a cozy couch at Hot Mama's Espresso with Michelle and Masen Deford. From the time we started visiting, Masen was the star, making sure his stroller was turned to the woman ringing us up so he could greet her. He liked signing "Hi", and frequently used a sign he created himself that was (as Michelle described) half "Hi" and half "I want something".

Masen William Deford was born to Robert and Michelle Deford, on October 22, 2015. His favorite color is blue, and his least favorite thing is when he's well on his way somewhere, but gets stuck before his destination. Masen loves all of his family, but really loves his Grandpa. Masen loved talking about his Grandpa, repeatedly saying his name with fervor while we talked about him. When asked what Masen would do if he could do anything in the world, Michelle said β€œIt would be to spend the day with his family, outside.” The best things in life are free.

What is a challenge for the Defords? Preconceived notions of what Masen may or may not be able to do. People sometimes underestimate Masen's abilities. Michelle proudly shares his abilities, and the pure joy in having him as their son. Advocacy for Masen, in the community and society as a whole are important to Michelle. She said, "It's my son's future."

After the initial grief of diagnosis, Michelle said they are thankful and that life is happy with Masen. What comes easily for Masen? His ability and desire to communicate. Most challenging? In a perfect world, services needed for Masen would be available locally. As it is, they travel to Spokane for Masen's needs. Pizza, grandpa, and the outdoors are favorite things, whereas sour foods are not to Masen's liking. Masen was confident, happy and communicative. He knows he's adorable, we think so too.