Local family's story reaching national recognition
The decision to not abort child with Spina Bifida becoming source of positive pro-life movement
Lafayette, LA (KADN) — Upon the arrival of the Judice's second child, they learned six weeks into the pregnancy that their child would be born with an extreme form of spina bifida. With statistics like 80% of people aborting children with the disease and 75% of pregnancies ending in miscarriages because of it, the couple made the brave decision to go on with the pregnancy.
"As fate would have it, he has a message for people just like Elijah did in the old testament. So that was kind of how we made the decision to keep him," says Chad Judice, Elijah's father.
With odds stacked against him, doctors said the possibilities were strong that Eli would never walk, and would have sever mental disabilities.
"He's kind of defied all that. I mean he has issues he has to be catheterized five times a day, which we've gotten very profecient in doing, but mentally he's on the same level as any other three year old..maybe even a little bit more advanced. Physically, despite his lesion being as high on his back as it was, he's doing things that medical science said he shouldn't be able to do," says Chad.
Wanting to document the things they were going through upon Eli's arrival, Chad sat down one day in the hospital to write down things so he could later tell Eli about the miracles that he had overcome, and to his surprise, he ended up writing a book.
"I just sat down and I kind of stopped, put lines between each date and thought about it as I was writing and divided it up into chapters based on the events and before I knew it thirty days later I had finished a manuscript," says Chad.
Chad wrote a second book called "Eli's Reach" which tells the stories of people that were impacted by Eli's story. Chad has now traveled to twenty-six different Catholic schools and twenty-four different parishes telling the story of Eli and delivering the positive message of the pro-life movement. The biggest lesson that Chad and Ashley Judice have learned from having Eli is that every life has a purpose, and they cannot wait to spread their message in Washington, D.C. later on this week. Chad, along with his family, will be featured as the special guest of Bishop Richard Malone at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
"I want them to recognize the fact that you can argue principles till your blue in the face, and you can spend all the money you want on legislation it's not going to end abortion in this country. What's going to end abortion in this country is a story that can take all those things from the relm of the abstract and bring them to the face of reality and I believe this story does that," says Chad.
The Judices hope that their story can help others when they are faced with difficult life decisions.