Thursday, October 10, 2013

Awareness Needed

As we are all fully aware, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My grandma had breast cancer 3 times until she finally lost her battle with it at 57, (so young!).
As you can see, breast cancer is very close to me, BUT it is not the only awareness that was given to October. It just seems to be the only one recognized.
In my opinion, there are two birth defects that have this month for their awareness that deserve more recognition than what they receive. Heck, they deserve more than what breast cancer receives!
Over 64% of Spina Bifida and 87% of Down's Syndrome babies are aborted!
Most doctors will recommend abortion when either of these birth defects are found.
THAT is why awareness months exist. To spread awareness!
These two birth defects are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but neither group should be aborted. Educate yourselves people!
follow link in title for more information
Our angel girl, Annie, was born with SB. Along with that, she has hydrocephalus, clubbed feet, bowel and bladder issues, etc. Because of her diagnosis, no one wanted her. People hear SB and run for the hills. Out of ignorance, no doubt. Maybe they did know about it and that is why they ran- I can't judge there- but for those who ran without giving it a second thought or research, shame on  you! I didn't give it a second thought or research it either, but I chose to take her. I too was ignorant on SB, but I wanted her anyway.
Here you can see her misshapen head- healing from her hydrocephalus that was allowed to get out of hand. You will also see her classic SB legs and feet. :) And the bandage covering her scars from her shunt placement, (goes from head and into stomach, so she has two sets of scars).
These two pictures were taken before she came home to us. :)
Annie took a little longer to sit up by herself, but she did. That is pretty much how it has been for everything physical with her. It takes her a little longer, and sometimes she needs help (braces etc), but eventually she does it.
Mentally she is actually very smart for her age, (not just me saying this). She is a social butterfly. She is hilarious and has a good sense of humor. She loves music, and I have sensed an aptitude for music in her from day one. :) She is a lover. She is a world class cuddler. When she says "I love you" or anything of the sort, you can see the passion in her eyes and hear the sincerity in her voice.
She is the light of my life.
SB just adds to her awesomeness.
November 2012
The second she put them on, she stood. Stood strong.
Now, she was wearing braces and holding onto her walker, but she was standing, and standing firm, and nothing was going to knock her down.  I cannot begin to express how huge this was for her.  And me. To look down and see her completely independent from me, standing on her own two feet, well it was just indescribable.
Oh, and it gets better.
We showed her how to push her walker and then take steps.  They showed me how to slightly shift her weight at her waist, then guide her foot forward so then she could take steps.
After a few guided steps, she began shifting her weight and taking steps ALL BY HERSELF!
Take a minute to soak that in.
Our child's first steps weeks before her third birthday.
She literally went from 0-60 in one day.  (read the whole story here)
Today, she can walk and walk and walk. She dances in her braces/walker in dance class. She does gymnastics in them: bars, rings, balance beam, trampoline, etc.
Her braces/walker are not something to be pitied. They are to be celebrated!
Also, her wheelchair is something not to be pitied! It too is a huge blessing!
She finally got it in May 2013. Within the first week she was doing wheelies and donuts! When she got her wheels, she took off!
I mean, just look at her jamming along the other kids at the dance party in Carsland last month!
Spina Bifida is just a small part of who she is. And she is awesome!
follow link in title for more information
Our dear friends, the Ross Family, were blessed last year with the birth of their daughter, Grace, who has Down's Syndrome.
They have renamed this diagnosis UP's. How awesome is that?!
Follow their blog to watch her grow and educate yourself on what UP's really looks like- not the cliché assumptions we all have.
As we speak, she is in Boston awaiting a major heart surgery. Pray for them and follow their blog for more information!


Isn't she gorgeous?! And no, not just "she's gorgeous for a kid with UP's." NO! She's gorgeous PERIOD.
I have never had the pleasure of meeting her, (and that breaks my heart), but we can all see what a joy she is in these pictures!
I am so excited to watch her grow, (even if it is only through facebook and her blog), and to see how God will use her.
Because I have known since the day they received her diagnosis, God has HUGE plans for Miss Grace!  I can't wait to see!


  1. Beautifully said Tricia! Thank you for your passions and hopefully your insight will soften peoples hearts to kiddos with special needs :) I miss you!

    P.S. the Corey tribute is on tonight on Glee. Hopefully it's on Hulu tomorrow so I can watch it. TEAR!

  2. Beautiful! That moving pic of Annie dancing is PRICELESS!