The 135-Day Life Of My Hero: Corbin McHenry

Dear Lewis,

I have a handful of heroes. Most of them you’ll meet at some point in your life. There are three, however, you probably won’t. I’ve never even met them. But they’ve changed our family forever.

Corbin, Kara and Shane McHenry came into our lives while you were still in your mom’s belly. Corbin was born on April 4th, 2013 with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 13.

Trisomy 13 affects almost all the organs, so doctors say the condition is incompatible with life. The doctors told Corbin’s parents he had less than a 1% chance of being born alive.

Lewis, with God, statistics can be overcome.

corbin11My boy Corbin was born “breathing and crying,” according to his mom, and he lived 135 days! He met Jesus on Saturday August 17th, 2013 – a year ago today. In those 135 days Corbin and his mom changed the world, touching millions of people, including your mom and me.


Every day Corbin was alive was a celebration – 135 consecutive celebrations!

We cried so hard when Corbin died – I’m crying now – because it felt like losing a family member. Your mom and I will never forget Corbin. And I will never be able to explain my admiration and thankfulness for Corbin’s mom.

Through Facebook, Kara and Shane shared their 135-day journey with millions of people. They shared their feelings of pain, their anger, even the tear-filled questions they asked God. In spite of it all, I can tell you Kara and Shane praised God for every day Corbin spent on earth. They documented his every milestone, every item checked off his bucket list, his every victory that proved he was able to do great things.

The truth is, when you have a less than 1% chance of being born alive, every day you live is proof that you are capable of great things. 

corbin2Lewis, Corbin’s mom and dad are some of the strongest people I know. Yes, they questioned God. But they thanked him more. When Corbin went to be with Jesus they didn’t raise their clenched fists and scream God! Why did this happen! Kara and Shane raised open hands to heaven and wept joyfully, saying through the tears, God, how did this happen? How did Corbin live 135 full days?

(These aren’t quotes, of course. But based on the things Kara wrote the day Corbin died, I think I’m pretty close.)

Corbin’s life, though short, was filled with purpose. That’s why we celebrate.

August 17th is a day where I look back and marvel at what Corbin, against all odds, achieved. It’s a day where I’m reminded of how a little boy with Trisomy 13 is the reason a mom and dad were able to share the Gospel with millions of people. It’s a day where I’m confronted with the sobering thought:

God used Corbin’s 135 days to change the world. How will I allow God to use my next 135 days?

Lewis, I pray I’ll never experience the kind of pain and heartache Corbin’s family experienced. But if I do, I pray for the spirit and strength of Kara McHenry, to praise through the pain and trust through the trials.

– Dad

For more information on Prayers for Corbin, click here. To join Team Corbin and help support the Trisomy 13 community, click here.

How does Corbin’s story inspire you? Over the next 135 days what will you allow God to do through you?

Share your story and encourage others by leaving a comment below, or by joining the conversation on Facebook.


  1. Deborah Collins-Barker   •  

    What an amazing person you are to have written such beautiful words about both my Daughter and Grandson. Corbin was and is my little sweet pea, his strength, being and story has inspired so many great things. Kara had an amazing way of being his voice. She also had a way through her words of making us all see the positive. They both made me so proud.Thank you

    • Paulie Godbout Paulie Godbout   •     Author

      Deborah – You have an incredible family, who has impacted and changed my life forever. The fact that your Daughter was able to carry herself through such a difficult time tells me she must have had an amazing example in you. It’s me who should be thanking you; not the other way around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *