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Jan 23, 2013 3:16 PM by Elizabeth Hill

Lafayette boy defies odds against Spina Bifida

"I'm Superman!"

Three-year-old Eli Judice is one special kid.

"He's touched the lives of everyone who's come in contact with him," says dad Chad Judice.

During Ashley Judice's pregnancy, a 16-week ultrasound showed Eli had Spina Bifida, a serious birth defect that can cause paralysis and brain defects. Doctors said that if Eli actually made it to term he would face an uphill battle.

"It causes lots of health complications and problems, some so severe that about 80% of couples that face this diagnosis choose abortion."

"I guess I was just scared," says mom Ashley.

But the Judice's got over those fears.

"We decided to chose life and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made."

Now a happy, healthy pre-schooler Eli's mental function is at or above average for his age, but he is confined to a wheel chair.

Ashely says it was a tough day when Eli realized he wouldn't be able to walk like other kids.

"You're not going to do everything just like everyone else, but that doesn't mean you can't do it."

While it hasn't been an easy journey, it's one the Judice's hope other families can learn from.

"Real love is not how you feel, it's a decision and its a decision you have to make everyday to love other people more than yourself," says Chad.

"Every life has a purpose and every life is a miracle," says Ashley.

The Judice family will head to our nation's capitol tomorrow as special guests of the Diocese of Buffalo to take part in the rally and march for life.

Eli's father Chad Judice has written two books titled 'Waiting for Eli' and 'Eli's Reach' sharing their family's story and their reaction to the outpouring of support from the Acadiana community and even nationwide.



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