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Raising awareness is what I can do for my son, and the whole society

Mari Suzuki, a Sydney-based Japanese mum of two, with her family. Her elder son, 2-year-old Kai, has Hirschsprung's disease. Source: Mari Suzuki

Sydney-based Japanese mum Mari Suzuki's 2-year-old son, Kai, was born with Hirschsprung's disease.

2-year-old Kai was born with Hirschsprung's disease.  His Japanese mother Mari Suzuki hopes she can spread an understanding of the disease widely.
2-year-old Kai was born with Hirschsprung's disease. His Japanese mother Mari Suzuki hopes she can spread an understanding of the disease widely.
Mari Suzuki


Hirschsprung's disease is a condition of the large intestine that causes difficulty passing stool.  It's a congenital disease and, in many cases, the cause is not clear.

Kai had his first surgery when he was just 4-day old.  Kai is two years old but he has been through seven operations already.

"If you see a 4-year-old child with glasses, you know that the child has poor eyesight.  If you see a 4-year-old child in a wheelchair, you know that the child has a difficulty in moving around.  But, how about seeing a 4-year-old child wearing a nappy? ", Ms Suzuki said.

"People would think like 'Oh the child needs more toilet training'.  That's natural and understandable reaction.  Because we don't see people with conditions of the intestine often."

Ms Suzuki decided to talk about Kai's condition openly, to spread an understanding of the disease widely.  As a parent of a child with disability, Ms Suzuki hopes that her efforts will benefit Kai and, ultimately, the whole society.

In the audio, Ms Suzuki explains about Hirschsprung's disease and shares her experience as a mother of a child who has the disease.

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