Brendon’s Story

This is Brendon. Before Brendon was born he suffered a STROKE. It is important for us to share his story so we can raise awareness that CHILDREN can suffer a STROKE. Please share Brendon's story to help in our mission.  Brendon's Smile...Raising Awareness for Childhood Stroke Foundation was created to raise awareness and educate EVERYONE about stroke in children.  For more information visit

Brendon was born a SURVIVOR and we are so blessed to have him in our lives.

At 19 months of age Brendon was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke while in utero. As a result of the stroke he has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Right Hemiparesis, Muscular Scoliosis, Speech Apraxia and Aphasia. Brendon currently wears braces on both feet and a splint on his right hand. Brendon is two years old and is only able to say a few words. He struggles with his inablility to vocalize and gets very frustrated with himself. He tries with everything he has to tell the people he loves what he is thinking. Brendon has a gorgeous smile and spirit that you can see by looking into his eyes. Through all of his frustration he manages to keep on smiling. Ask any one who knows him...he lights up a room. His spirit keeps us going!

It's important for every parent to know that doctors may not recognize the symptoms of stroke in children. Brendon should have been diagnosed much earlier than when he was. As a new mother I was told I was overly "paranoid." Due to lack of a diagnosis by several doctors and specialists Brendon was deinied the treatment he so much deserves.

You are invited to share Brendon's journey with us.

It is my goal to share with you every step of Brendon's journey so you understand what it is like to advocate for a child you love and to raise awareness. I don't want another child to be denied what is their's!

Please e-mail us at for any suggestions you may have on helping us spread the word.

Thank you!

Jessica & Stephen Spear

Latest Journal Update

More Work to Be Done

We have a saying in our home: The reward for a job well done is more work!

How very true this is...
First I will share that this morning on my way to the "6th Annual Brendon's Smile Lecture on Pediatric Stroke" I was beyond words EXCITED! If you back up 8 years ago from this month (March 2007) you will learn it was the very first time I heard the words "Cerebral Palsy" in regards to my child. Backing up a little bit more, his diagnosis was not easy to come by. From the moment he was born I didn't want anyone to hold him or be near him except for me. I was fearful for him. I wrote it off as "first-time mom" stuff. Within two weeks of his birth I noticed he couldn't turn his head to the right. Basically with each passing day something more manifested. However, it wasn't until he was 18 months that I finally found a doctor, a neurologist, who saw what I was seeing. Prior to that I was wandering helplessly, searching for answers only to be told it was all in my head or he would outgrow the symptoms he was experiencing.

After his first neurological evaluation, Brendon played in the doctor's office while I sat across from the pediatric neurologist at his desk. Someday I will share further how this physician spoke to me, it wasn't kind and there was a lack of bedside manner. I will say he was extremely knowledgeable - he knew about the human neurological system.

Quickly I will share this portion of the conversation:

The neuro stated, "Your son has CP".
After catching my breath I asked, "As in Cerebral Palsy?"
The neuro firmly said, appearing annoyed by my question, "That is what I said."

He went on to explain that the "CP" was caused by either a brain tumor or a stroke. (Another moment of gasping for air.) I had heard of brain tumors in children but NEVER a stroke. (During the lecture this morning Dr. Rivkin shared that approximately 2 in 100,000 children have brain tumors, 13 in 100,000 children past the neonatal phase of development have strokes, and approximately 1 in 1,600 to 4,000 newborns have strokes. He went on to further state that approximately 1 in 3,000 adults over the of 65 have strokes. What does this tell you? There should be MUCH more awareness for strokes in pediatrics!)

At this point we all know what the cause of cerebral palsy is for my son - A STROKE BEFORE BIRTH!

So here I am driving to the lecture 8 years after feeling overwhelmed and powerless to this morning knowing that because of my son's stroke I am doing something! Going from completely helpless, desperate, and isolated to completely doing something about it!

This brings me to the opening statement of this message, with all of the above being shared, this month the Brendon's Smile Foundation contributed $10,000 for education and research for pediatric stroke.


Please share this flier and let me know A.S.A.P. if you would like to help so we can keep moving forward with the mission!

You can also make a donation to the foundation if you would like. All donations are tax deductible! Every penny helps!