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John Paul Hauser continues to inspire


John Paul Hauser

John Paul Hauser’s life is an example of how God can turn a dire situation into a blessing.

That’s what his mother, Tami, tells students at St. Patrick School in Elkhorn when she speaks about the joy her son brings to those who know him, and the way he has lived with Trisomy 13, a rare chromosomal disease that brings challenges – but more often results in death shortly after a child is born.

Three years ago, Sonja Derher invited Tami to speak to her eighth-grade confirmation students about God’s power, the sanctity of life and how John Paul continues to learn, laugh and play. And each spring, Tami returns to share how countless people, including strangers, prayed for John Paul, who turns 8 on Oct. 9, and how God uses John Paul’s life and happy personality to inspire others.

"You can tell that the kids are touched, and they surround him afterwards, playing with him and asking more questions," said Tami, who also is willing to share John Paul’s story with other young people.

"We pray that God uses John Paul to promote a sanctity of life in these children as they grow in spirit and truth."

Derher, who learned about John Paul from articles in the Catholic Voice, said she and her students are inspired by Tami and her family’s story of faith and love of God. And the students, she said, talk with their families and friends about what they’ve learned from the Hauser family.

"They see how blessed we are to have a God that is greater than any diagnosis," Derher said.

Tami and her husband, Tracy, members of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Omaha, said they thank God for all seven of their children, and are especially grateful to see John Paul, their youngest, surpass the expectations placed on him.

Although he struggles with speaking, poor vision and hearing, as well as walking, eating and bathing unassisted, John Paul is in overall good health, Tami said. Now a second-grader at Adams Elementary School in Omaha, he is becoming more independent, and his visual and social awareness is improving, she said.

They also are grateful to those who pray for him, and for the way John Paul continues to impact the lives of so many people with his joyful demeanor, his mother said.

"He is endearing to others because it is rewarding to see someone joyfully attempt to do things that most people find so basic that no thought is required," she said.

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