Microtia and atresia. If you’re like me, you probably have no idea what those words mean. Neither did Rachel Swears, General Manager of Merchandise at Disney Springs (and pretty awesome mom!), until she spent weeks anxiously researching them, nine years ago. That’s when Rachel’s son Channing was born with a small ear (microtia) and hearing loss caused by the absence of his ear canal (atresia).
And learning about Channing’s condition was only the beginning for their family; the start of a long journey to give him every opportunity to hear the world around him almost the same as others can. There were dozens of questions that kept Rachel up at night — how would other kids treat him? Would his condition affect his cognitive development? And there was only one question she had an answer to: was she willing to fight for him?
Yes. She fights hard to make sure Channing and others like him are represented in the world and the moment you meet him, you can tell why. His confidence is inspiring and contagious. He’s so proud to be exactly who he is. In fact, he’s excited to be different!
That’s why today is such a special day. Rachel took him to Disney Springs to show him the results of a project that was very special to her heart. Channing’s story inspired a team of cast members to create something amazing that they want to show him!
Check out the surprise and the story behind it in the video below!
This Mother’s Day and every day, we honor and celebrate all the wonderful moms out there who are the true magic in our lives! For more stories highlighting our incredible cast members, stay tuned to the Disney Cast Life blog.