Nineteen years ago, Daryle Koltay of St. Petersburg, Florida was born with a rare condition, microcephaly, most commonly known to be caused by the Zika virus. Now he is using his story to spread awareness. Allyn Hoang had a chance to talk with Daryle alongside his mother Lisa Koltay and brother Barry Wilson.
Allyn Hoang: Lisa, tell me about when Daryle was born and when he was diagnosed with microcephaly.
Lis Koltay: It was very difficult for the whole family. We didn't know what was going to happen, if he was going to become blind, deaf, if he was going to pass away or become paralyzed. The neurologist couldn't give us [any] answers.
Allyn Hoang: Lisa, were you bitten by mosquitos?
Lisa Koltay: Yes, I was.
Allyn Hoang: Did you have any symptoms from Zika?
Lisa Koltay: I had the rash on top of my feet. I felt a little and some body aches, yes.
Allyn Hoang: But at that time it wasn't confirmed, it's not confirmed right now?
Lisa Koltay: No, I don't know if I had it or not, but I'm just saying I just had symptoms of the Zika virus.
Allyn Hoang: So, Daryle, what are some limitations that you have to deal with in your day to day life?
Daryle Koltay: I can't live on my own. I can't drive. I can't read. I can't do anything. I don't like microcephaly, but I have it and I live with it.
Allyn Hoang: Barry, how has this affected your family?
Barry Wilson: You know, it's a family effort when a sibling is born with a disability. As time has gone on it has become easier. It's become the norm and I try to make things as normal as possible for Daryle.
Allyn Hoang: What I love about you guys is that you're turning your story into something positive. Tell me about that.
Barry Wilson: Since Daryle has a hard time expressing himself we decided to tell his life story and his journey through life through pictures. And we find good locations and he loves to pose and take the pictures and then we love to try to inspire people and show, you know, even though Daryle has gone through so much stuff, that he's had so much adversity in his life, that he's fighting through it. He's such a fighter. He's the strongest person I know, really.
Lisa Koltay: He has a lot of courage, a lot of strength. He has been inspiring others and I feel like that's his gift from God. And that's his purpose in life.
Allyn Hoang: And you have a GoFundMe page. Tell me about that.
Barry: We made that because Daryle's ultimate goal and dream in life is to travel the world and actually meet the people face to face that he's inspired. We get so many messages on Facebook and email, people asking him, "What's it like having microcephaly?" We just get so much response and Daryle would really like to meet these people. He really wants to help people and just be an inspiration that no matter what your limitations are, you know, you can do it if you want.
To read more about Daryle's story or contribute to his dream of traveling the world and meeting those he's inspired, check out his GoFundMe page.