Hunter's Story ~
Hunter was born on Sunday, October 30, 2011 as Hunter Blaze Silva. Hunter has an older brother that my daughter began fostering when he was 29 days old and later adopted when he was 3 years old. In August 2012 Children’s Services called, my daughter to inquire if she was interested in fostering her son’s younger brother, Hunter, while DCFS in California collaborate with Children’s Services in Mexico.
On May 29, 2013, I was awarded foster guardianship and a few years later the adoption was approved and finalized and we were given a Certificate of Family Membership on Friday, February 24, 2017 for Hunter Blaze Silva-Guillmeno.
While Hunter was under my care as a foster child, it was now time to enroll him in school. On 01/15/15, I took Hunter to see his primary care physician for a routine physical examination and during this visit the doctor ordered lab work. The labs returned with an unusual reading which indicated there was a problem with his liver. A referral was placed to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) which as followed by battery of medical appointments, prescription medication, and continued lab work for over 1 year.
After a year if examinations on 03/03/2016, Hunter was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This diagnosis was followed by appointments with a multi-disciplinary team and medication to slow down the process of muscle regression. Hunter finally lost the ability to walk during the summer of 2020 due to muscle and skeletal regression, he fully depends on his wheelchair for mobility.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to the alterations of a protein called dystrophin that helps keep muscle cells intact. Although DMD is a fatal disease, life expectancy is increasing and many young adults with DMD attend college, have careers, get married, and have children. Survival into the early 30s is becoming more common than before.
In spite of the many medical appointments, medication management, hospitalization, challenges, and unexpected setbacks, Hunter is amazing, brave, and courageous. He continues to press on, and has a strong desire to engage in and with life as much as his body will allow him to participate in activities. He has the biggest heart and has always showed compassion and empathy for those he loved, cared about, the homeless, and underprivileged children, his courage beyond measure. He also has a pen pal he supports in Ecuador. For this and many other reasons, Hunter’s Heart Foundation was created.