My Hero Calls Me Mama

My Hero Calls Me Mama

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chance-painter.jpgChance was named before his birth, not knowing how fitting it would be. Born after only 28 weeks of gestation, the baby — and his mother — faced the grim possibility of not surviving. When preeclampsia struck, their fate rested in the hands of God.

Mom remained in intensive care for 10 anxiety-ridden days while her tiny son struggled to live. After three months in Neonatal Intensive Care the fragile infant went home, but each day was filled with uncertainty. The doctors had been straightforward about Chance’s future. He faced the probability of numerous health problems: mental retardation, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, and cystic fibrosis, to name only a few. Soon, two additional obstacles were thrown in his path-the need for kidney and heart surgery.

Inexplicably, Chance dodged all of these maladies.

At two years old, Chance keeps a hectic schedule with various physical therapy appointments — a total of seven each week. After being told he would never crawl, he does crawl, even though he lags behind others his age. His vocabulary is limited but continues to expand. He communicates joyously giving high-fives.  With the little boy’s determination and progress to date, hopes are high for all he is yet to achieve. Despite the monumental challenges that have been encountered thus far, Chance fills his mom’s life with love, light and joy.

When playtime rolls around, Chance Armstrong prefers painting far and above any toys or other activities.The two year-old was featured in his first art exhibit at City Arts in Wichita, Kansas. With the proceeds, he and his single mother aim for a noteworthy goal — earning enough that Chance can enroll in Dolphin Therapy in Florida, an activity that has proven quite beneficial for children with special needs.

What makes finger painting (and sometimes toes) so stimulating to this youngster? Is it the slick feel of the paint or is he intrigued with color? Is it both?

kid-painting.jpgEven though he has not yet learned his colors, Mom can now decipher which one he is asking for; he is quite finicky about which hues go into each design he produces. They’ve spent countless hours creating works of art and have developed a system that works seamlessly. Chance giggles and his bright eyes dance with every new masterpiece, and he only stops when Mom says it’s bath time. Each art session leaves him smeared and smudged-sporting a rainbow of colors from head to toe, a near duplicate of the canvas just completed. And, Mom doesn’t fare much better!

In an interview before the art exhibit, his mother pointed out, “Many people go their entire lifetime without ever meeting one of their heroes; I am truly blessed and honored that my hero calls me mama!”

Will Chance one day become a famous artist? Only time will tell.

City Arts deserves a huge thank you for their
efforts in assisting this young fellow with his dolphin therapy goal.


  1. We lost a child born at 28 weeks. It was horrific, especially since it was our first child. But we donated his body to Duke University and he was part of the research that developed a drug to help kids like Chance surivive. Every time I hear a story like this, I feel like I have again touched my own little boy. Thank you for sharing this.