My name is…

Today, it’s going to be a rather short blog post. My dad, who writes these, had to undergo surgery earlier this week and just returned home from the hospital today and is still recovering.


When my parents found out they were pregnant with me, they obviously didn’t know anything about my Kabuki syndrome yet. They were expecting a normal and healthy baby boy. As with all pregnancies, parents have to go through the process of finding a suitable name. Not an easy task if you ask me because you don’t know yet what your baby or child is going to be like. Nevertheless, you can tell a lot by a person’s name can’t you? Who of us hasn’t encountered a new person with a particular name that seems to have certain traits or characteristics that are quite similar to someone else you know that bares the same name. There is not a single scientific proof for this, I’m sure, but it’s just one of these strange things in life that we stop to think about now and again.


So in their search for a suitable name my parents had a couple of prerequisites. My older brother is named Tibo, which is a “french sounding” name but written in the simplest flemish way instead of one of the french variants like “Thibault”. Well the same rules had to apply to my name. It had be be french sounding but written in the simplest flemish form. After a number of iterations they agreed on “JEROM”. In french this would have been Jérôme but the flemish version makes it much easier to write, just like with my brother’s name.

Now Jerom is a name well known in Belgian popular culture, for it is the name of a comic book hero by the Belgian author Willy Vandersteen. Originally as one of the main characters of the famous comic strip “Suske & Wiske” and later even had his own spin-off comic strip “Jerom the golden stuntman”.

"Jerom" the comic book character by Willy Vandersteen and courtesy of the Standaard Uitgeverij

Little did my parents know that I had the Kabuki Syndrome so when I was born, and laid there so still and quit – the name resemblance to the comic book character “Jerom” was the least of their worries. But as we set out on our journey together as a family, to help me develop and to help me grow, the resemblance become more and more a “thing”.


Without being ashamed about it, I have more limited intellectual capabilities than a person without my disability has. The comic book character Jerom originates from the stone-age in the series. Being from that particular era doesn’t really make him the brightest chick in the flok. Nonetheless, he has persistence and perseverance like none other… So both the upside and the downside of the traits are a striking resemblance.


Now on the physical side, Jerom, the comic book character, is the strongest man in the western hemisphere. He can almost literally move mountains and is undefeatable throughout the comic book series (although many have tried to defeat him). By getting my growth hormones my muscles started to grow significantly. I have a very strong (puffed) upper body today and can do dozens of sit-ups without even blinking 😉 So on the physical side, there is also a strong resemblance between the two of us.

A statue of Jerom in Middelkerke at the belgian coast (Artist: Monique Mol Photo: Paul Hermans – art work at Middelkerke, Belgium)


So when my dad started this blog a couple of months ago for me, he addressed the Standaard Uitgeverij, who publishes the Suske & Wiske comic books, with a permission request to use both the image, the font and the image of Jerom, the character. Within 24 hours he received a positive response from the people at the publishing company stating that we were free to use these for the purpose of this blog. With this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to the Standaard Uitgeverij for allowing me to do this and use their “Jerom”. Not only as a reference to my name and the personal traits that bare resemblance but also for my journey towards becoming the best I can be. As a role model for myself and the many many other kids that are out there and are in a similar situation.

As I already mentioned, you can tell a lot by a person’s name – mine stands for strength and perseverance and I’m proud of it!

Hope you enjoyed this weeks blog and be sure to tune in again next week!


Have a great week!


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