Chad Veach has been a mentor to Hollywood’s hottest stars, and now the Los Angeles-based pastor is opening up about the support he has received over the years while facing a heartbreaking disease with his young daughter.
“I feel like so much of life is not allowing your situation to define you. It’s the only way to come out on top,” Veach — whose 5-year-old daughter Georgia suffers from the rare brain disorder lissencephaly — tells PEOPLE. “What we have gone through with our daughter has only increased my faith that God is real … my family would not be intact and my home would not be filled with joy right now if we didn’t have a greater hope.”
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, symptoms of lissencephaly include unusual facial appearance, difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, seizures and more. There is currently no cure for the disease, but children can show progress in their development over time.
Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, Ashley Benson and more have rallied around Veach and his family by getting inked with “g” tattoos.
In 2015, Bieber revealed his “G” tattoo on Instagram, writing that it was “for the strongest couple I know” and their “incredible” daughter.
“It’s pretty amazing to experience the support we’ve received,” says Veach, whose second book Faith Forward Future is out Nov. 28 (and available for pre-order here). “So many people have been drawn to Georgia, and I think it speaks to how we are always drawn to rally around those that are hurting. I never could have imagined this kind of support — hundreds of people going out to get this tattoo for Georgia. It’s incredible.”
Veach’s daughter is currently “doing the best that she’s ever done,” he shares. Georgia is going to school five days a week and is “thriving and defying the odds.”
Says the pastor: “We are truly so thankful for that.”