CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — As a teenager, Kristy (Gaff) Johnson, a 2003 East Noble High School graduate, thought she had her career all planned out.
The daughter of Dr. Terry and Suzie Gaff of Kendallville, she spent much of her childhood stargazing and mapping constellations. She dreamed of becoming an astrophysicist and pursued a rigorous academic path. After achieving top honors as an undergraduate, Johnson immediately began a PhD. program in physics at the University of Maryland.
Everything changed when she discovered her son, Felix, had a rare genetic disorder, one with only seven known cases in the world. The condition is associated with delayed development, absent speech, severe intellectual disabilities, autism, epilepsy and motor challenges.