Maegan Roliczek, mom of 1-year-old Ryker Stark Roliczek, cherishes every single moment she gets to spend with her son who has Down syndrome, but she'll admit the road to his first birthday was long and filled with emotional challenges. The busy mom told POPSUGAR that having a cake smash on Ryker's first birthday was more than just marking a milestone to her.
"This past year has been the most educational, terrifying, and life-changing year of my life. We learned so much about the medical world that we never envisioned learning about nor would we wish it upon our worst enemies, it was that difficult! I never envisioned that within the past year we would see so many specialists for our son. This little boy has been through so much, he really has shown us what true strength is."
And that's putting it lightly. In a post Maegan shared to Instagram, she broke down exactly what Ryker's first year of life entailed, and it's totally heartbreaking:
You have come so far, baby boy. You've beaten leukemia, liver issues, oxygen issues, stomach surgery, and open heart surgery. In just one short year, you've shown us all what it's like to have true greatness and strength. I know you are going to accomplish amazing things in your life and you will prove to everyone that there is nothing scary about Down syndrome, but instead, it's something to celebrate every day.
And as proud as Maegan is of her son, who overcame more health issues than most people see in their lifetime, she explained that when push comes to shove, she really sees him as a superhero — and we couldn't agree more.
"From the moment he was born, we called him our little superhero. It was his first year of life that he really showed all of us how much of a superhero he really is," she said, adding that, "He has battled so many obstacles in such a short time, and I cannot wait to see what his future has in store for him."
Scroll through to see photos from Ryker's adorable photo sesh.