Tina from Ohio
I was 26 weeks pregnant when a level two ultra sound led to the Diagnosis of my only daughter. I was told she would never walk, talk, sit up or feed herself. I was told told that she would be unpleasant to look at and a financial and unfair burden to our other 3 children, her 3 older brothers. I was advised to travel to Bolder, Colorado to have my pregnancy terminated. Despite all I was told I chose to have my daughter and care for her regardless of what needs she would have. She was born in 1992, a planned C-section. After her birth I waited for something to go wrong. Doctor's confirmed her prenatal diagnoses. She was born with several syndromes and was missing the entire mid section of her brain. Despite all of that I began to take her to Physical and Speech therapy 5 times per week for the first 5 years of her life. When she began to have status seizures that lasted for hours and needed an arsenal of medications, I learned to do it all. I have rarely slept through the night in the past 25 years as I listen for seizures and other reasons that my girl may need me for. I have learned to be an advocate for her as I teach others to value and see the amazing, loving, funny personality that she has. I have been there and stayed through every hospital admission, every surgery, every doctor appointment and have even learned to cook and manage special diets for her over the years. I have worked with schools, therapists and hundreds of medical professionals. As a model to her for advocacy, I have taught her to work with all those involved in her care and life as well and to speak up for herself and make her own decisions based on her likes and dislikes. She loves clothes, music and Jesus. She's everything I have dreamed of in a daughter. Because of her I am also an advocate for my own health. I plan to continue to take care of her every need and to give her many many happy, pleasant educational and entertaining activities. She lives with me and her service dog. She is my choice when it comes to choosing someone to hang out with. Her medical conditions do not define her. Her kind, funny and loving personality does. She is by far my favorite human.