What You Don't Realize About the Dad Behind the Diagnosis

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When you become a parent, it changes you. But when your tiny, brand new baby is given a life-altering diagnosis that thrusts you into the world of special needs, it really changes you.

Some people change for the better and some change for the worse. Your relationship with your spouse can get stronger or it can fall apart. The first few years of this new life will reveal that change. Slowly but surely, you’ll see it developing. And in the end, many husbands and wives make it through the rocky path and learn to navigate this new life together and their relationship not only survives, but thrives.

mom and dad holding newborn

When your relationship is strong and makes it through, the dad behind the diagnosis will become a different man. He’ll become someone that you will love exceedingly more. He’ll listen more and learn patience. He’ll see things in everyday life with new eyes. He’ll think more with his heart, rather than his brain. His eyes will well up with tears at the sight of your beautiful miracle child doing something ordinary that he or she was never “supposed” to do. All of these changes are due to your child who was born with special needs.

In these relationships, 98 percent of the time, the mother’s life revolves around the child with special needs. It is usually the momma who brings them to the doctor appointments and therapies. The momma packs her bag and stays by their side for hospital admissions. The momma will often leave her job to stay home and care for this precious child. It is usually the momma who keeps everyone abreast of the child’s health. It is the momma who openly expresses her feelings about living this wonderful, yet difficult life.

And it is the momma who is usually seen crying as she endures yet another blow of bad news from the doctor. From the outside looking in, it seems the momma carries most of the load. However, nothing could be further from the truth…

The dad in this picture is often overlooked. Most of the time, Dad is working. A lot. He finds himself at work wondering how his child’s day is going more often than not. Finances usually depend on his paycheck. If he isn’t working, he is taking care of the home front and other children, a duty just as important as any other.

Most of the time, his emotions are hidden by a strong face and he rarely lets those emotions loose, so he cries alone when no one is around. Most of the time, he wishes he was at those doctor appointments hearing the news straight from the doctor’s mouth because he wants to know everything just as much as his wife does. Most of the time, he is silent with his frustrations about this life and he learns to deal differently. This is often why others forget about Dad, he plays a quiet but important role.

dad with son at disney world

His heart aches for his child and his mind swirls with thoughts of what was “supposed” to be. He thinks of how he should be playing catch in the backyard with his son instead of lifting him into bed at night because he’s gotten too heavy for momma to do it. He thinks of how he should be letting his little girl play dress up with him and having tea parties instead of setting up the feeding pump that will give her nutrients through a feeding tube for 18 hours straight.

While he holds onto hope that his miracle with so many special needs will get better, he experiences what true love is daily through his child and accepts this life, puts on a brave smile for his family, goes to work to pay the bills and is always there to hold his wife when she feels doesn’t know what to do or where to turn.

This dad experiences the joy, the heartache, the love, the fear… all of it. He is willing to go unnoticed, unheard, unseen not because he isn’t equipped to live this special life, but rather because he is willing to be the strong, silent backbone for his child and wife. He is selfless and puts his own feelings aside so he can power through and take care of his family. In a society where the moms of children with special needs are constantly praised, the dad is often the unsung hero behind the scenes, snuggling, bathing, giving meds, working and allowing his family to thrive.

The dad behind the diagnosis may be hidden from your view, but he is there. Quietly supporting his family… and doing an amazing job.

dad and son sleeping next to each other

Kudos to all those great dads out there who are raising a child with exceptional needs with their spouse or by themselves! In case you haven’t heard this in a while… You. Are. Amazing.

This post originally appeared on My Blessed Little Nest.

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When a Stranger Noticed Me in Front of a Broken Elevator

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On Saturday, I met a friend at the Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia, and I decided to take a cab home because it was raining and there was track work on the Metro. I walked over to the Ritz-Carlton, which was just next door, and the doorman handed me a free bottle of water and ushered me into a cab. As I was getting into the cab, my mind flashed back to the last time I was at that same hotel.

I was living in Springfield, Virginia, at the time and had taken the bus from the Metro to the Pentagon City Mall for a hair appointment at Regis Salon. I don’t usually go to such a fancy place, but I was celebrating. I had just passed the Virginia Bar Exam and wanted to treat myself to a new, professional, lawyerly ‘do.

The bus had just pulled up at the mall, and as I was rolling down the bus ramp in my power chair, my left footrest fell off. It’d been damaged from catching one too many times in the automated gate at the apartment community where I lived (quite an inevitable fate — that gate hated me, I tell you).

I couldn’t do anything about my predicament in the middle of the crosswalk, so I just picked up the footrest and carried it into the mall with me. I thought, I’m not going to let this slow me down.

My hair appointment was at 9:45, but most of the major stores in the mall didn’t open until 10. I was there by 9, early enough to grab some breakfast and window shop on the way in. I was going to make a morning of it.

I rolled over to the elevator to ride down to the food court. As I neared the sign on the door, I felt the color drain from my face… the elevator was out of service until the following day. Not only did this mean I couldn’t get to my breakfast on the lower level, it also meant I couldn’t get to my hair appointment on the third floor.

There I sat, stunned, clutching a broken footrest in one hand and a bruised spirit in the other. I was silently debating the merits of returning home or hanging out at ground level for a while when a hand lightly touched my shoulder.

“Do you need some help?” I heard a man say. I looked up at a handsome gentleman in his late 30s/early 40s with a smile on his face. He had copper hair, brown eyes and evidence of past laughter written around his mouth and eyes.

“My name’s Ken,” he said. “Are you a lawyer?” I looked down, grateful that I’d worn my UK Legal Clinic t-shirt.

“Yes,” I answered. I then rehashed the whole ordeal: passed Bar, hungry tummy, missing footrest, broken elevator, fleeting hair appointment.

“We’ll get you there,” Ken said. I was a little skeptical about following a strange man I’d just met, but in a public place, I felt relatively safe. He proceeded to lead me to every major department store — all of which we found closed, elevators inaccessible.

He just smiled and said, “Come with me.” As we exited the mall and walked into the Ritz together, I began to worry. “Where is this man taking me?” He led me into a restaurant with a huge breakfast bar and said, “Have anything you want — on me.” Made-to-order omelets, fruit, bagels — the selection was amazing. I tried to protest, but he said, “I insist,” so I helped myself to a few pieces of fruit and a bagel.

While I was eating, he came by the table with another gentleman. “Jessica, this is James. He is an engineer with the hotel and I think he can fix your footrest.”

I ate while James worked, and by the time I’d finished my breakfast, the bent footrest was newly attached to my chair.

“Hurray!” Ken said. “While you were eating I rescheduled your appointment for 10:15, and we’re going to take the Macy’s elevator to get you upstairs to the salon in time.” Ken personally escorted me all the way there. I thanked him profusely and asked for his contact information, but he refused, saying, “It’s OK. This is the least you deserve. I wish I could give you so much more.”

As I sat in the chair, Ken looked at the stylist and said, “Make her as beautiful as possible… though honestly, I don’t know how you can make her any more beautiful than she already is.”

And with that, he left.

I sat through most of the appointment in shock over what had just transpired, and when I went to the register to pay, the receptionist said, “Your friend took care of the bill.”

What?

I was amazed. I couldn’t speak. Tears were welling in my eyes. No man (other than a family member) had ever done something so nice for me, and I didn’t even know his last name. I didn’t deserve this… I couldn’t thank him.

I felt so thankful. Shocked. Cared for. Loved, even, in a way.

To this day, I think about Ken and the Regis adventure every time I’m in Pentagon City, to remind myself of a few things:

1. Random acts of kindness do exist.

2. Chivalry is not dead.

3. And if a man I barely know can care about me enough to be so kind, then a man who knows me well should want to do the same.

Most important though, I try to be like Ken, giving to others, no matter who or where they are, if I see they have a need I can fulfill.

To me, caring for those in need is one of the main reasons we were put on this Earth, and I am the type of person who shows love best through service, even if I’m not always in the best position to serve.

Thanks, Ken, wherever you are, for helping me, encouraging me and allowing me to learn from your example.

Jessica Hunt

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment a stranger — or someone you don’t know very well — showed you or a loved one incredible love. No gesture is too small! If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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To the Woman Who Questioned Funding for an Inclusive Playground

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Dear Misinformed Lady,

The other day I was having a casual conversation with a group of women I’ve known for quite some time regarding a special project I’ve been working on through the foundation I founded. I was talking about how I haven’t slept in months as I’m juggling a full-time job, the general day-to-day operations of a nonprofit organization (all volunteer), a child with special needs and my role as a wife. Trying to keep the focus on the positive change I’m trying to create (and not the bags under my eyes), I started going into detail about the inclusive playground I’m fundraising for in my community. 

I’m not sure why you felt compelled to enter this conversation when I don’t even know you, especially given that you did so with bad intentions. I have to be honest — when you first began questioning me about this playground, I truly thought you were interested in my project. You started asking about your apparent role in it. Since I was a bit taken aback, I’m not sure if I adequately answered your questions. Just in case, I’ll take a minute to thoroughly answer them now.

1. Why would I want to financially contribute to an inclusive playground?

Let’s pretend for a minute that this question was formulated out of genuine curiosity and not sarcastic evilness. If you don’t know, an inclusive playground is a playground where children of all abilities can play together. It’s specifically designed to provide ample opportunity for physical, social and sensory development of children with disabilities, as well as children who develop typically. Believe it or not, new playgrounds are only required to provide access to 50 percent of elevated play components and one type of each ground-level activity (swings, spring riders, panels, etc.) offered for children without disabilities. So if a child without disabilities has access to six different swings, a child with a disability is only required to be offered access to one, and, even if a child with a disability is offered access to a swing or spring rider, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can use it. If a child is unable to sit up on their own, how can they possibly support themselves on a typical belt swing? I guess it is the thought that counts, right?

I digress…

Back to the question. By contributing to an inclusive playground, you’re going to give all children in your community the opportunity to play on a playground, including yours. Short and sweet. 

2. What does a disabled child playing on a playground have to do with me?

Ugh! First of all, I prefer person-first language when we talk about “these people.” By saying a “disabled child” and not “child with a disability,” you’re implying that the disability defines the child… and it doesn’t. Not a big deal, but learn from your mistakes. 

OK, when you asked this question, my heart shattered into pieces. It’s an unfortunate reminder of the barriers that still exist for my child and all other children out there with disabilities. It’s this type of attitude that continues to allow these barriers to exist. It’s not my child, so it’s not my problem, right? 

Well, let me tell you my story.

Before my son, Giovanni, was born, I never gave a thought to what opportunities did and didn’t exist for children with disabilities. It wasn’t because I didn’t care. I just never had a reason to think about it. I guess I always assumed they had everything typically developing children had. Why wouldn’t they? 

Although we didn’t get an official diagnosis for my son until two weeks before his first birthday (the year from hell), he had problems right from the minute he entered this world. While the inequalities didn’t rear their ugly heads until he got a little older, it was only a matter of time until reality hit. It was a peaceful summer afternoon, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the… you get the picture. For the first time, instead of using the little plastic swing set Giovanni received for his birthday, we stopped at the playground just down the road from our house. The playground was bustling with rambunctious children, and we were excited to have Giovanni play there for the first time. 

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I naively walked into the gated play area and set Giovanni free. After about 15 minutes, I noticed he wasn’t really interacting with the other children. He was just walking around the perimeter of the main play structures. Not thinking much of it, I scooped him up and brought him to the play area specifically designed for smaller children. The top ramp, right above the slide, was being guarded by three little girls, who vocally expressed that they didn’t want him there because they don’t like boys (got to love girls). Despite the lack of invitation, Giovanni was determined to get up to the platform and play with them. But wait, why wasn’t he going up? Unfortunately, not only was the lowest platform too high for him to lift his leg up onto, one of his AFOs (a rigid brace that runs from his knee to the end of his foot) got caught on the edge of the lowest platform.  

My world came crashing down. I was starting to realize all the events I somehow missed since the moment we walked through the gate. He was walking around the perimeter of the play structures because he wasn’t able to step over or climb over the barrier that held the wood chips in place; he didn’t want to walk around the wood chips, even after we lifted him over the barrier, as his shoes were filling with wood splinters when he shuffled on his toes; he was a bystander because he had to be. My son did not have the opportunity to play on this playground — the playground in his neighborhood. 

So to answer your question, I never thought it had anything to do with me either. 

3. (And this is more of a statement) Well, my child can play on any playground he chooses. 

Well good for you. It was at this point that I realized I wasn’t going to get through to you. I realized that, for some unknown reason, your defenses were up. There was no point in continuing my efforts to share some of the personal details behind this amazing project. 

The important thing to remember is that I too used to think (or not think) this was my responsibility. I know it’s hard to understand something you’ve never experienced; I get that. But what I ask, what I’m begging you to do, is to try putting yourself in my shoes, my son’s shoes, for just one minute. Think how it feels to see your child struggle with something as simple as playing, how it saddens you to realize that society still thinks your child deserves less than what a typically developing child does. Think about how it feels to be that child, unable to play with your friends because of something you have no control over, the feeling of isolation and sadness that fills your heart because you’re different from the other kids.  

Just remember that I used to be you. I used to be the person, the woman, the mom, who didn’t think about that child across the room in the wheelchair, the person who just smiled and walked away as that child sat by themselves while the other children played. 

To learn more about this inclusive playground project, please visit www.cmcdfoundation.org/inclusiveplayground.

Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook.

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I Was Frustrated When My Student Refused to Write His Name. Then I Realized Why.

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Some days you just have to be someone else.

We all have those days — days when we feel like an utter failure and like we don’t make a difference. It feels like we are just herding cats or that our students would be better of with someone else assisting them. Yesterday was that day for me. They don’t happen often but when they do — wham!

I was sitting at the table in the special education pre-kindergarten classroom, next to a student named Sam. We had a worksheet reviewing writing the letters of the alphabet by tracing, so I gave Sam a pencil. I pointed to the name line and reminded him he had to write his name on the line on his paper. I knew he could do this, so I turned to help the student sitting on the other side of me.

When I looked back at Sam, he had started writing the letters “o-p-t-i,” and I shook my head.

He writes his name every day. Three simple letters “s-a-m.” It does not start with “o-p-t-i.” Sam could write his name, and I had seen it daily.

“I am really a failure,” I started thinking to myself. “I don’t make a difference.”

Then I started smiling as I looked at his paper. I shook my head. Sam had decided he was Optimus Prime that day, a character from the movie “Transformers,” so he had written Optimus Prime as his name. I was worried about three letters and here he was writing more than that!

student writing optimus prime on worksheet

Optimus Prime was sitting right there next to me and I was feeling like a failure. What was wrong with me? It’s not every day you look over and see Optimus Prime in pre-K.

Well if he was Optimus Prime, I guessed it was my time to pull out the golden lasso and be Wonder Woman. The most ironic thing (or a “God wink” as my mom would say) is that on the back of my work badge is a tiny picture I have had for years that my mom sent me. The picture shows me in all my 6-year-old glory, flexing my muscles and wearing my Wonder Woman outfit. For a period of time I had refused to answer to anything but my Wonder Woman outfit.

teacher's keychain with photo of her as a kid dressed as wonder woman


“Optimus Prime, meet Wonder Woman,” I thought. “I can so handle this day.”

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5 Things I Wish People Hadn’t Said to Me About My Son’s Disability

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I wish someone could have explained to me that what at the time felt like a tragedy would develop into a happy life full of love and wonder. I’m not going to say that raising a child with severe developmental delays and complex health needs is easy. It certainly isn’t! But the blessings we’ve received far outweigh the challenges!

The author's son, smiling with a star-covered blanket

1. “I could never do what you’re doing!”

Yes, you could. You know why? Because it’s human nature to love your child and to adapt. What exactly is it that a special needs parent is doing that is so amazing? Not running away? Not spending the entire day in tears? (And trust me, there are tears, you just might not see them in public.)

All we’re doing is getting on with life. A special needs parent learns how a G-tube works, masters it and gets on with it until it becomes part of the new normal. If your child needed a G-tube you’d do the same thing. We all have the power to be the most amazing special needs parents, if by amazing we mean taking care of our kids as best as we can.

2. “He’s disabled for a reason.”

I particularly dislike this one. People often need to find meaning in things, and the birth of a baby with a disability is no exception. I understand that but I also know that the world is a far better place because my son is in it. I have learned so much from him and so have the countless others who he has touched.

But that doesn’t mean that his sole purpose is to teach us these things or that he is disabled because we needed to learn them. The disability just is. His amazing personality exists separate from the disability, not because of it.

One friend told me that her 11-year-old daughter is thinking about becoming a physical therapist because of her time playing with my son. That’s great! I love that! Then she added, “So you see! Your son is disabled so my daughter could find her passion!”

No, that doesn’t sit well at all.

3. “The universe never gives you more than you can handle.”

Yes, it does. All the time. There is tremendous suffering in this world and people are being given more than they can handle on a daily basis.

I think the sentiment behind this statement is actually sound. I think what people are trying to say is that this new life will become your new normal and you will adjust. It may seem like the end of the world now, but you will learn how to adapt and accept your child’s disability and (even though it may sound farfetched in the beginning) you’ll even find joy and comfort in this new life.

But somehow, that message never came through properly in this phrase, at least not for me. It sounded much more flippant, like they were saying, “You can handle this, so stop crying and being so overdramatic. Just handle it already!”

4. “He’ll have amazing hearing!”

When we explained to people that our baby was blind, one thing we were told again and again was that he would have amazing hearing. People who are blind may rely more on touch and hearing than other people do, but that doesn’t mean that every blind baby will grow up to be the superhero Daredevil!

What I found most annoying about this statement was the assumption that hearing and other adaptive techniques our son would need to learn would just come naturally. When you see someone who is blind walking down the sidewalk expertly avoiding obstacles with their cane, that’s the result of years of training and work. Let’s give them credit for that!

5. “If there’s anything you need, just let me know!”

I know this one sounds sweet and helpful, but put yourself in my shoes. My baby just got home from the NICU, I have only a bare understanding of how to use all the new equipment and monitors that came home with him, I’m terrified for his life and can’t sleep without worrying something horrible will happen while I’m napping… and I’m beginning to suspect that on top of everything else he may also be blind.

You expect me to articulate what I need? My house is a mess and I’m not positive that I ate anything today. I can’t really remember. I’m exhausted and so overly focused on my new little responsibility that I’m afraid to leave him even for a minute to go to the bathroom.

Rather than offer up some vague promise of maybe helping at some point in the future if I ask for it, how about just doing it? One of my friends came over one day and just cleaned my house. She just did it. It was one of the most beautiful acts of friendship I’ve ever seen.

So, if you have a friend or family member whose child was just diagnosed with a disability, this is something to keep in mind.

The Mighty is asking the following: Can you describe the moment someone changed the way you think about a disability or disease? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post [email protected] include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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34 Things to Say to Someone Who's Just Received Devastating News

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There are moments in life when we receive news that we aren’t quite sure how to process. Sometimes, we’re left feeling devastated. But having someone say just the right thing to you in that instant can change everything.

We asked our Mighty readers to tell us the best thing someone said to them when they received devastating news.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “‘He’s the same little boy you’ve loved from the beginning.’ We were told this after we received his diagnosis of Williams syndrome.” — Stacia McKeever

2. “We were in an elevator after just being told by a neurologist that our 21-month-old daughter had severe nonverbal autism. My husband looked at me while holding our baby and said, ‘It changes nothing.’” — Melissa Cote

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3. “After our daughter suffered from a metabolic crisis and devastating brain damage, one of the doctors said, ‘I am going to the wedding of a man who was my resident last year. He was born with devastating brain damage and wasn’t supposed to do anything. He proved everyone wrong.’ Our daughter is also proving everyone wrong.” — Anne-Marie Wurzel

4. We have each other. We have so much love to give. What else is there?” — Mariann Noonan Wilson

5. “I had a friend send a card that simply said,  ‘S#!t.’ No phony anything. It was where I was and what I wanted to hear. I wanted to know it was OK to not be OK yet.” — Jennifer Canaan Mustachio

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6. “‘The love you’re going to experience is a love that only a special few will experience. You will go through the rest of your life in deep struggles, emotionally and mentally, but the love that will continue to grow will guide you and help pull you through all obstacles. It’ll show you your true meaning of life.’” — Clinton Hansard

7. “You can’t put too much stock in everything doctors say. I’ve been at this 20 years and have seen so many things that should’ve never happened. ‘Never’ takes the ‘God factor’ out of it. And doctors don’t know everything. Including me.” Our ophthalmologist said this after we found out our daughter has polymicrogyria.” — Lyndse Marie Ballew

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8. “I don’t remember the conversation word-for-word, but my friend asked if I wanted to talk about it. I told her, ‘Not yet.’ She said something to the effect of ‘Let me know when you’re ready,‘ and then asked if I’d heard about some particular celebrity gossip. I needed for a moment to feel normal again, and she gave that to me while still leaving the door open to talk about what happened.” — Melissa Goodman

9. When she’s 20, it won’t matter when she walked; it will just matter that she did. Our physical therapist said this when we still weren’t sure if our daughter would walk. We take everything in ‘Ellie time’ now. It doesn’t matter when, just that one day she will do better than she does today.” — Amy Sherian

10. “‘Everything will be all right,’ said my 3-year-old daughter.” — Priya Jasper

11. “After learning my 1-year-old son with hearing loss also had muscular dystrophy and that we would be constantly battling to maintain some vision for him, my sister told me, ‘He will always know love and some people will never know that.’” — Kristen Taylor Linsky

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12. “On my first day back to work, a co-worker I only knew in passing hugged me and whispered in my ear, ‘I pray for you and your family every morning when I pray for my own.’ I later learned that she also recently lost her father in an accident.” — Laura Graff

13. “‘Take her home and love her,’ said our neurologist on discharge the day after our baby girl survived a severe brain injury.” — Candace Hamm

14. The person who said nothing but just listened to me ramble.” — Holly Stanton Morgan

15. “The neurologist said, “You didn’t do anything that made this happen, and you couldn’t have done anything to prevent it.’” — Sue Rutan Donald  

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16. Don’t waste time blaming yourself or waste energy trying to figure out how it happened. The best thing you can do now is help her to build strength with therapy, and she will progress at her own pace.” Our neurologist said this after my daughter’s periventricular leukomalacia diagnosis. And I have never looked back. Only forward.” — Hope Martinson

17. “‘That sucks.’” — Amy Johansen

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18. “After we were told our son wouldn’t see adulthood, a friend of ours searched the Internet, made contact with another mom who has two boys with the same condition and asked her to list all the positives. Then my friend showed up out of the blue with that list, photos and contact details for that family. In my friend’s words, ‘I didn’t want to be here to cry for Ethan, I wanted to show you hope is alive and well, see.’ She handed me the details with tears in her eyes. She’s been my friend since I was 13, and the other family living in England have been my friends since 2008. There’s nothing I can do to repay my friend, but I’ll never ever forget what she done for me.” — Geraldine Renton

19. ‘You’re about to embark on the most amazing adventure,’ said our developmental medicine doctor who specialized in Down syndrome for 50 years.” — Melanie Perkins McLaughlin

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20. “After my son was born four months early and given a 4 percent chance of healthy survival, a nurse said, ‘I know this wasn’t what you were expecting, but congratulations!’ She was the first one to acknowledge that we had just had a baby and that deserved to be celebrated.” — Andrea ‘Dolney’ Mullenmeister

21. “A friend and her husband said, ‘We’re here for you. We want to help.’ And they kept their promise.” — Michelle Kelman Friel

22. “My sister said, ‘Let’s do some research.’ She knows me so well and knows all I need is information and then there is nothing to worry about. The unknown is the only scary part.” — Kerry Sautner

23. “‘The scenery on your path will be different than you imagined but not any less beautiful.’ The best advice.” — Lisa Hanna

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24. “A church friend asked me how I was. Before I could answer, we locked eyes, I started to tear up, and she said, ‘No, don’t answer,’ and hugged me tight. It was a real moment; all she gave me was love, not empty words.” — Lynn Siegler

25. “After my son was diagnosed with brain cancer the doctor turned to us and said, ‘I can’t tell you what to do, but if it were me, I would fight it. I would at least try.‘ So we did. He was given less than a 10 percent chance of survival beyond the first year. He lived 5 years more. It was out best decision ever.” — Leenadria Barros

26. “My baby’s pediatric neurosurgeon said, ‘My colleagues and I have never sat around the table at lunch comparing how old we were when we first sat or crawled.’ I was worried the baby would have serious physical and mental delays with spina bifida and a Chiari malformation diagnosis that would affect adulthood and career opportunities.” — Michelle Atwood

27. “‘There’s nothing wrong with that baby,’ said my dad when I gave him the news about my daughter’s Down syndrome diagnosis.” — Ruth Fannin

28. “‘I don’t care if there comes a day when you don’t remember me, Stacey, I will always love you and be there for you.‘ I was told this when dealing with memory loss due to my epilepsy.” — Stacey Ann Olson

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29. “When my mom died three years ago, a friend of mine messaged me. She lost her mom a while before, and she said, ‘I hope you have a day. And then another day. And even then another. Eventually you’ll have OK days. And some time after that you’ll have better days, good days. One day, maybe when you’re not expecting it, you’ll find that you’re having a great day. You’ll cry less. And the good days will outnumber the bad.‘ I carry those words with me when times are hardest for me.” — Amber Ford Rempel

30. Challenge accepted.” — Monica Ronghi Donnelly

31. “After our son was diagnosed with autism his pediatrician told me, ‘He is going to be just fine, and so are you.‘ I didn’t believe her at first, but a year later and with wonderful support, I believe her!” — Bridget Augustine

32. “Right after our unborn baby was diagnosed with the most severe form of spina bifida, I ran into another mom who had an older child with it at the grocery store. She was my friend and she said, ‘Congratulations.‘ At the time I was a little confused by it, but now realize all the positives that have come from our child having his diagnosis. It’s taken me a while to see that, but she’s right. I’m so glad she was positive when all we were seeing, hearing and feeling was negative.” — Carrie Fabian Holt

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33. “I was venting to a couple friends who have kids around the same age as my son. I was taking about how worried I was about my son being a target of bullying. Immediately, my one friends says, ‘Oh don’t even worry, he will have his buddies to protect him.’ They all chimed in and agreed. One said ‘Our sons will be like his body guards. We will raise them to always watch out for him.’ I still cry thinking about it.” — Staisha Brazington

34. You are not alone.” — Wendy Scranton Baumert

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 What are some things people have told you in your time of need? Let us know in the comments below. 

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