Janina's Page


My name is Janina Perianne M. Chupungco and I was born last October 16th 2009 with Apert Syndrome. My family and I are from the Philippines.

My parents initially wanted me to have the same birth date as my dad’s (October 23) but my mom’s OB said that they needed to chose an earlier date. So they chose October 16th, the feast of St. Gerard Majella - the patron for expectant mothers. Incidentally, the 16th was also the feast day of Margaret Mary (of the Sacred Heart).

I was named Janina Perianne (to follow the JP initials that my older brother or “kuya” has. J for my dad and P for my mom). Janina also has the same meaning as my brother’s name (Nathan) which means "God's gift" and my parents felt that Perianne was a suitable match as well.

I was born via C-Section. During the procedure the doctors had a difficult time getting me out of my mommy’s tummy because my head appeared to be too big. After I got out, my mom’s doctor whispered to her that there seemed to be a little problem because my head was quite bigger than normal and that my hands and feet were fused.

Later on, the doctors explained to my parents that it seemed I had Apert Syndrome but since the doctors present knew very little about it, they could not give my parents very much information. My parents were distraught but with the outpouring of support from our family and friends, they were able to overcome all their fears and concerns. Afterwards, several doctors met with my parents and they explained the whole Syndrome to them and assured them that although plenty of surgery would be needed, they could rest assured that I was going to survive. I stayed in the ICU for a total of one week while the doctors did tests on me to make sure that everything else was okay. I was discharged from the hospital on my daddy’s birthday – which was a perfect birthday gift for him. Things started looking better for me since then.

I will soon have my MRI after which the doctors will most likely map out the schedule for whatever surgeries that I may need. Apart from the physical differences, I am no different from my kuya. The doctors say I have some developmental delays but with the help of an Occupational Therapist and my family members, we are working hard on overcoming that.

I love being with my kuya and he in turn loves me to bits. Many times, he can’t help but give me so many kisses that it gets to a point where I get cranky because he keeps kissing me and won’t stop. I guess that’s how he expresses how happy he is to have me for a sister. I am exclusively breastfed and I like to drink lots of milk – it probably shows because my cheeks are all puffy and my relatives always like to pinch it whenever they see me.

I know it’ll be a tough road ahead for me but my family is with me on this so I know everything will be okay. They say that I was given to my parents because God knew that they had enough faith to carry them through. My parents likewise believe that “If God will lead you to it, He will lead you through it.” So there.

Thank you for reading my story and I promise to keep you posted now and then. For the meantime, please pray for me and my family that we would be given the grace and the means to overcome all the challenges that we would be facing. Thank you again and God bless!


This page was created April 18, 2010

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