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  • Peter Schaffer

Doing It For TJ

The first time I heard the word was Jan. 6, 2012.

I was a sophomore at Memphis and had gone home to Baton Rouge, La., for winter break for what I thought would be a joyous occasion: My stepmom had given birth to a baby boy. His name was T.J., and I couldn’t wait to lay my eyes on him.

But when I arrived at the hospital a few hours after he was born (I wanted to give my stepmom and my dad some space) and met my dad in the lobby, I could tell something was up. He wasn’t smiling the way I thought he would be — the glimmer in his eyes wasn’t there. He looked nervous.

“It’s been a crazy morning,” he said. “T.J. was born with a condition called hydrocephalus.”

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