Gage Watford is living his best 18-year-old life. This weekend he will show in his final market hog show at the Osceola County Fair in Florida. However, he isn’t your typical senior in high school. His younger sister Gracelyn describes Gage in a letter she recently sent to the Sure Champ® family.
“Gage was born in 2004 with a condition called Pierre Robin Sequence. Along with this, he had a tracheoesophageal fistula, cleft palate, and hearing loss. When he was 3 days old, Gage had surgery to repair the fistula, but it took multiple surgeries between the ages of 6 months old and 7 years old to repair his cleft palate. At the age of 4, Gage’s hearing loss was discovered, and he started wearing hearing aids in both ears, which helps a lot. Gage was diagnosed as intellectually disabled at the age of 3 and has since then been in a special classroom for children with special needs.”
These setbacks have not stopped Gage from exhibiting livestock. His freshman year, he started showing market hogs, something he has enjoyed from the caring aspect to the show ring. He started using the Sure Champ® products his senior year to help his animals #PreptoWin. As you can see from the smile on his face, he also loves his Sure Champ banner and t-shirt.
“Gage’s course has not been an easy one. There’s been surgeries and setbacks and a lot of hard work. Through it all though, Gage is one of the quirkiest kids I know, full of joy and love. He loves our family, friends, and a few sports like cheer and baseball. He especially loves our dog, Tig. We fight like any ordinary brother and sister would and don’t let his sweet demeanor fool you, he’s a brat like any other older brother but that doesn’t mean we love each other any less. I love him with all my heart, and I wouldn’t trade my brother for a “normal” one any day because really, nothing is normal in the world today and his differences make him who he is and how special he is,” Gracelyn continues in her letter.
Because BioZyme® Inc., makers of Sure Champ products believes in care that comes full circle, we want to congratulate Gage on his final show and tell him we are so proud of his achievements. As livestock exhibitors ourselves, we know the time and dedication it takes to care for animals and the courage to exhibit. You make us #AgProud, Gage Watson!