It's not ALL of her story, but a good part of it. Enjoy and BE INSPIRED!
Our daughter, Taylor, was born with “special needs”. When she was first born, the pediatrician told us there “may” be something wrong and it appeared that she had “low muscle tone”.
How could that be? We were both only 24 years old. My husband, David, was a health freak, not eating sugar, caffeine or alcohol and going to the gym 5 days a week. I followed every step of the doctor’s advice. I ate what I was supposed to, didn’t touch what I wasn’t supposed to and here we were, being told our baby could have challenges.
After exhaustive tests, we discovered that
had a rare (only 60 known cases in the world) chromosome disorder and no one
knew her future. Taylor
So we were thrust into a world we barely knew existed.
was constantly sick and in the hospital with pneumonia. And when she wasn’t sick, she was in every
physical and occupational therapy program available. Taylor
Two happy go lucky college sweethearts who never faced a serious challenge now were forced to be ferocious advocates for their daughter, questioning every medical “expert” and their latest attempt to help Taylor. We were constantly told that we were doing the wrong thing, told our daughter could die and “did we really want that to happen?” Most times, when we felt
didn’t need something, we were right.
The few times the doctors did things we didn’t think she needed, she got
very ill. Taylor
We were talked into a $15,000 wheelchair that
was unable to use and we donated it
shortly after purchasing it. We were convinced to give her a vaccine which
landed her in the hospital for two weeks. Taylor
But through all the trials, tears and frustrations, we learned a lot about life and changed our views on a lot of things.
four, we started a charity called Bids for Kids. This was to benefit the
Children’s Therapy Department at Mary Bridge Children’s hospital in Taylor . This event has led to the raising of over $1
million dollars. Even though we moved
away in 2000, this event is still carried on by amazing group of women now The
Jean Cunningham Orthopedic Guild. Tacoma Washington
Over the years we have had the support of many friends and family. My best friend from college also a Pi Phi (Marylou Hill Ferry) has been with us along our journey. Many of my sorority sisters live in different states but I continue to keep in touch and keep them informed of
Over the years our path has been made by
she shows us the way and we meet people because of her. She has been our
teacher and it’s amazing the things you can learn from a child who can not walk
or speak. But if you are ever so lucky to meet her or any child with special
needs you will soon find out what I mean. Taylor
We moved our family to
California, although our
business remains in Washington, for ’s health and found
that the best thing for her was dry air and sunshine (and it wasn’t too bad for
the rest of the family either). Taylor
We learned that there are many families in similar or worse circumstances all over the country. And there are many people and organizations that do wonderful things for this population.
I learned that I can administer shots, medicines, tube feedings and all the other techniques for taking care of
that were completely foreign to me when she was born. Taylor
And we learned most of all, to trust our instincts when it comes to raising a daughter with special needs. There is no handbook and each parent must forge their own path. And to every parent that is given one of these very special people, you DO have the strength and the knowledge to do what’s right. People often say we’re amazing for what we do with
. We do simply what needs to be done, and if
faced with a similar situation, you could too. Taylor