Jeyden "Pop" Gomez
“A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.”
Jeyden Gomez was born with the perfect number of toes, the perfect number of fingers, the perfect number of everything that a mother could hope for after giving birth to her child. But it was what could not be readily seen that would change the trajectory of the lives of everyone in that room that held on to that newborn miracle.
Unbeknownst to everyone at the moment of his birth, Jeyden’s chromosomes told a story that meant his life would be drastically different than many of the other children born that day in Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT. Jeyden had Down Syndrome; a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. Typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability, the doctors painted a bleak if not grim picture of what lay ahead for Jeyden and his family. Though the professionals and medical journals may have had their own expectations for Jeyden both positive and negative, it was his family that held onto their own hopes for the boy they affectionately called Pop and they soon realized that he in turn had his own anticipations for himself!
A lover of music and art, Jeyden carved out his own reality in a world that may have expected him to fail and shone bright amidst the darkness with his positive outlook and upbeat personality.
Today Jeyden is the face of the IMPERFECT movement. Created by his parents, Carlos and Leslie Gomez, it was developed as a means of motivating Jeyden to love himself and his differences while also inspiring others to embrace their perfectly imperfect selves. With a collection of merchandise that includes branded t-shirts, items with Jeyden’s artwork and events aimed at individuals with cognitive disabilities, the IMPERFECT campaign is one that is as fun as it is informative.
We are all as perfect as we strive to be every day.
Just ask Pop.