Photos Capture How Dad With Dwarfism and 4-Year-Old Daughter Help Each Other
Richard Willis, from Yorkshire, England, is just a few inches taller than his 4-year-old daughter, Cherry.
Willis, 46, has diastrophic dwarfism, a disorder of cartilage and bone development that results in short stature, arms and legs, as well as early-onset joint pain and joint deformities, according to Genetics Home Reference. Because of the arthritis and scoliosis caused by his condition, Willis had to take a medical retirement from his job as the Head of Transport for the city of York in 2006, Caters News reported. He now uses a specialized wheelchair and spends his days taking care of Cherry while his wife Charli is at work.
Because they spend so much time together, Cherry and Willis have formed a special bond.
Cherry was born nine weeks premature on June 14, 2011 and was only as big as the palm of Richard’s hand. She didn’t inherit her father’s dwarfism.
Cherry often helps Richard, who stands at 3 feet and 8 inches tall, with daily activities like tying his shoes and doing the dishes. She climbs up on him every morning to reach things on the top shelf of the fridge.
“Our relationship is really special,” Willis told Caters News. “It’s unique and I couldn’t be any more proud of her… We’re like a little double act – we do everything together and I don’t think we could be any closer.”
Cherry started school this month and her father says his having dwarfism has had no affect on how other children treat his daughter.
“I’ve had some tough times but the birth of my daughter was like a breath of fresh air,” Willis told Caters. “Because of the operations I had to have it felt a little bit like I was starting out again because I had to teach myself to walk and all sorts, but Cherry being around made it so special. When she was learning to crawl, I was just learning how to walk again so it really is like we’ve done everything alongside each other.”