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To the Mamas of Kids With Medical Conditions I Met Through Facebook Groups

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To the Mamas I may never get to meet in person,

I’ve wanted to thank you for some time now, but never really knew what to say.

When I initially joined the disability community through my child two years ago I was scared, alone, inexperienced and definitely in denial. Fast forward two years later and I’m still scared (I don’t think that ever really goes away) but now thanks to you, I’m informed and confident because I have an army of supporters that have been there to help me along my journey.

I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg knew the impact his social media platform would have on the thousands of women tasked with raising kids with disabilities or complex medical needs. I try to identify and relate to moms in my community, but I keep coming back to you guys through the Facebook groups I’ve found for parents with similar struggles. When my son has an appointment that doesn’t go as planned and I feel discouraged, you lift me up. When my daughter was diagnosed with the same airway issues that have plagued my son for the past two years, you gave me the virtual hug and an “I’ve been there” that I can’t find anywhere else.

The other day we joked about how funny it would be to crash our doctor’s upcoming wedding. I was literally laughing out loud as we detailed the scenario. We’ve also dished about our doctor crushes and who we think we could be “BFFs” with if we met through other circumstances. I never imagined these topics would even remotely come up in my life, much less be how I find humor in my unpredictable journey, but I’m so thankful for it and for you.

Two years later I’m now a moderator in a FB group charged with supporting parents of kids with airway defects (parent support at coping with Laryngomalacia). I want to be that support that welcomed me two years ago into “the community where nobody wants to be” with open arms. I can’t make our children’s medical needs go away, but I can be the support and encouragement needed to not feel alone, like you have done for me.

Now… all we need to do is figure out a way to meet up in person instead of in Facebook groups and Google chat! That wedding is in less than a month.

Getty image by UberImages

Originally published: August 20, 2018
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