July 14, 2016 11:23 am
Updated: July 14, 2016 6:23 pm

Son’s diagnosis inspires Montreal couple to create clothing line for children with dwarfism

WATCH ABOVE: Children with achondroplasia, or dwarfism, struggle to find clothes that fit properly. As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, one Montreal family is trying to change that with their company, Oli & Bou.

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When Sylvain Laporte and his wife, Pascale Vo, found out their newborn son had been diagnosed with achondroplasia — or dwarfism — they were shocked.

“We imagined a terrible life for him,” Laporte said.

“When the dust settled, we vowed to do everything that we could for him to have a happy life.”

Olivier is now five years old.

“When he came into our lives, we had no idea what was in store for us,” Laporte said.

“We quickly realized that everything that we took for granted, he would have to fight for.”

Simon Laporte with his wife, Pascale Vo, and their two children, Olivier and Simon. The couple created Oli & Bou, a company that designs clothes for children with dwarfism after Olivier was diagnosed.

Simon Laporte

The couple decided to look at just one of the many challenges faced by children with the hereditary condition — finding clothing that fits.

“Our children face many challenges,” Laporte said.

“This is why my wife and I started Oli & Bou. With our simple initiative, we hope to solve one of these challenges.”

Oli & Bou, named after Olivier and the couple’s second son, Simon, who is nicknamed Bou-Bou, is a clothing company that designs everything from shirts, pants, leggings and sweaters for children with achondroplasia, ages one to five.

Oli & Bou’s vision

It’s not uncommon for children with achondroplasia to have trouble dressing themselves — not to mention, finding clothing that fits properly.

“Every item in our collection is designed with autonomy in mind,” said Laporte.

“Clothes are easy to put on and to take off. Jeans and pants even include loops hidden inside the pants to make putting them on a breeze.”

“No more rolled up sleeves, pant legs or stretched collar.”

The couple has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money so they can expand their company.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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