Rocco A. Guadagna didn’t know what the future might hold when he and his wife were given the news that their newborn son, Rocco Jr., had Down syndrome.
“Months and months of planning and the day finally came! My wife had a C-section and I was right by her side in the room looking at her face and playing music on my phone to help ease any pain she might go through. We didn’t know what to expect other than what we had seen in movies and what others have told us. I was the first to see Rocco Jr. once the doctor lifted him up in the air from the womb and that’s when the doctor tapped my shoulder and said, ‘Can I talk to you outside for a minute?’ I was taken out of the ER and my heart started to race. She told me our son may have Down Syndrome. It was a total shock and my mind went blank.”
Guadagna sat in the hospital bathroom sobbing because he didn’t know what Down syndrome meant.
“I wasn’t upset that our son may have this condition, it was just the fear of the unknown that made my wife and I nervous and confused. I guess you could say I was uneducated to the fact. I’ve heard of Down syndrome before, but I never really understood it,” he said.
What Guadagna quickly learned about Down syndrome is it’s a blessing.
“It’s more like up syndrome. Our son is the happiest little boy we could’ve ever dreamed of. He might not fall under the guidelines of reaching milestones on time or being on track so to speak but he gets there on his time. Rocco Jr. has accomplished things that children his age without any conditions have not. We are very proud of his progress thus far! He teaches us something new every day and he makes us feel like the best parents on the planet because he loves us so much.”
Not only is Rocco Jr. the most loving baby ever, he is also the healthiest. While doctors told the Guadagna family that their son might have a heart condition and other ailments, Rocco Jr. hasn’t had any issues at all.
“They say 9 out of 10 babies with Down syndrome have heart issues and Rocco Jr. didn’t have any. It’s a miracle the problem fixed itself. He eats great, he doesn’t have any digestive issues, he’s perfect! We have a strong faith rule in our family and that is to ask God for help in times of need. Guess what? It works every time.”
Guadagna now wants other Down syndrome parents to know there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“There is nothing different about a child with Down syndrome. In fact, they have an extra chromosome so that makes them extra special!”
He says their life has changed for the better and he doesn’t know how he ever lived without Little Rocco Jr.
“I always say God made us Rocco’s parents because he knew we could handle it. Whatever obstacles come our way we will face them for Rocco Jr. Every day is not a challenge, every day is an opportunity for us to be the best parents we can be. He is our everything.”
Guadagna is now advocating for Down syndrome awareness with his business, Vision Lawn Care & Snow Plow Inc. He will be giving away a free landscape makeover to one WNY home in honor of his son. The drawing will take place July 8 on Rocco Jr.’s birthday. All you have to do is head to Vision Lawn Care’s Facebook page and post “We have a vision.” If any other companies would like to team up with Vision Lawn Care & Snowplow please call 716-807-7008 and ask for Rocco Guadagna.
“I want people to start seeing Down syndrome in a great way and a positive way and I want people to be more aware to help other people,” said Guadagna. “Our little guy will be happy to know a lucky family has a free landscape makeover.”