Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday ~ BBC Radio

Yesterday I was interviewed by Julian Marshall of BBC Radio regarding microcephaly and the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus which is believed to be causing microcephaly in newborns whose mothers were infected by this virus while pregnant. I was honored & thankful to discuss our experience with microcephaly, and I hope that maybe, in some small way, my testimony can help new mothers whose babies were diagnosed with microcephaly to feel less alone & afraid. I certainly don't have all of the answers regarding this diagnosis, but I want to help set their minds at ease however I can.

It is sad to me that microcephaly is being vilified in the media due to Zika, and I hope that the general public realizes that though this diagnosis would not be something I would have chosen, I am NO LESS BLESSED by having two daughters with this condition than if they'd been born typical. I am just as proud of my girls as I am of our neurotypical son, Cal.

CLICK HERE to listen to my radio interview from yesterday!  As of now, I am being told it may only be active for another five days, though I hope to be able to download an mp3 of it at some point so I can share that here as well.

1.20.16 ~  Claire, Cal, & Lola celebrating the #DayOfAcceptance for #3ELove

xo

21 comments:

Liz Ditz said...

Thank you. I found your beautiful girls and your family's story by chasing down images of your girls that had been stolen to promote fear about Zika and vaccines. I am so glad to make your virtual acquaintance. Wishing you all well.

irish89chrismiss said...

I just heard your story on WUNC-FM, and I think you are all awesome! Hooray for fierce moms and dads and their awesome kids everywhere. You got this! Love it!

greatjencreations said...

I just heard your radio interview, and I came to comment on how your positivity and encouragement touched me. Although I'm just beginning to learn about microcephaly along with much of the world, "you can totally do this" are powerful words as we each face challenges life throws at us. Thank you for being a lovely burst of inspiration today.

KR said...

I heard your story on PRI today; it was wonderful. Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences and your insight. I do hope that those families in South America can find a voice like yours to champion thier children.
All the best to you and your family, again thank you for sharing.

Leah said...

Gwen, thank you so much for the positive message you shared about your daughters on the PRI WorldNews interview. I just listened to it on the radio and was smiling the whole time. Disability doesn't have to be a scary thing. It's a natural and beautiful part of our human diversity. The general public and especially new parents of children with disabilities need more stories like this. Thanks again!

Nicole Melancon said...

What a beautiful story! I read your article on the Washington Post and was so incredibly inspired. Thank you so much for writing it and bringing about awareness. Your love shines through!

Nicole Melancon said...

What a beautiful story! I read about your family on Washington Post. Thank you for creating awareness and raising hope!

Pamela McCarty said...

Dear Gwen,

You and your husband are awesome people. Your sweet little girls are so lucky to have you. There aren't words to express how your positive outlook and love for your children has touched me. I have a hope for the future that I wonder if you would find interesting. I believe that someday, sooner than later, the world will be a paradise like Eden, and all humans will have any difficulties removed. Those that cannot walk with be able to run. "The lame will leap up like a deer, and those who could not speak will shout and sing." (Isaiah 35:6, Living Bible) If you would find this encouraging, you could learn more about the Bible's promises from a new website www.jw.org .

Much much love to you and your beautiful family,
Pam McCarty

Krystal Ball said...

I read your story in the Washington Post. You and your gorgeous family are a gift to the world and your joyful positive spirit is an inspiration! Thank you.

Unknown said...

Hello Gwen,
I just read about you and your family on the Washington Post's website. It was a beautiful story, for such a beautiful family. Many blessings to you...

Natasha Smith said...

I heard this last night on CBC on our way home from swimming lessons. You did an amazing job sharing your experiences, and the love and joy your family brings you was so evident! Thank you so much for having the courage to share.

Clifford Tardieu said...

Claire and Lola are beautiful sweet girls. You are blessed to have them and they are blessed to have you.

BlondieBlueEyes said...

My sister also has microcephaly, hearing negative comments in the news makes me upset, angry, and scared. I have read some of the amazing things you have said about your beautiful daughters, you are right they were meant to come as they did. They are beautiful and special. I soo badly want the world to know that my sister lives a happy life. She has ups and downs like the rest of us. You are a GREAT advocate. I am so glad you have shared your life with us. You were absolutely blessed with your family. I feel blessed to have my sister.

Everton said...

Hi! Just heard you at CBC As It Happens. Just in case someone from Brazil reaches you in Portuguese and you need a help with translation, count on me as a volunteer.

Congratulations for such great great family. Wish you all the best :) .

James Perley said...

The birth of our only grand daughter was supposed to be joyful, but except for two weeks, it was a time of dread and sadness. Doctors even told our daughter that an abortion was understandable. At one point, they also thought our daughter's life might be in danger.

When she was born, our grand daughter had a small pointed head, but she had piercing blue eyes which stared as if she was trying to figure us out. Because of their work schedules my wife and I lived with the parents for four days a week, and at times longer. We desperately tried to stimulate our grand daughter in any way possible. I counted steps as we went down stairs a few days after our grand daughter's birth. Our daughter read the news to her.

Yesterday, our two and a half year old grand daughter counted all 14 steps on the stairs. I told her night happens when we are in the earth's shadow, and she said "like in the park", when we saw shadows last summer.

Doctors have never seen anyone like our grand daughter. She doesn't fit anything they know. She still has no fusing of her skull, and she is small. No one can say if she will regress or continue to develop.

When I read your story, I had only an inkling of what you have endured, and I have great respect for you. You are an example for us all.

Oakleaf700 said...

Years ago, late 1980's at a 'halloween' get together, a dear little baby in a wooly hat was being fussed over, as is quite natural.
She was passed around the group, in the warm room, lit by an open fire, and when I held her, her blue eyes were open- she seemed so serene, and I commented on what a 'good' baby she was- and felt a real affection for this little person.
Later on in the afternoon, the women whose house it was, whispered ''the little girl.. she is profoundly disabled, she has no brain''.
The shock of this was like a blow, how could it be? she looked entirely normal to me,but was told her disability was hidden by her wooly hat.
She has remained in my memory all these years- I met someone about a year afterwards, and asked after the little girl, to be told that she had sadly died.
Microcephaly may well be much less serious than anencephaly, your daughters are lucky to have such a loving family, and you are lucky to have them, and your son too A lovely family, including a whippet :) . I too heard your story on the radio, hence the google search.
Best wishes.

Martha Kelley said...

Beautiful family, your children are lovely. What a great big brother, best always.

Margaret Wolfinbarger said...

I came across your story in my local paper, via Colby Itkowitz. I read with interest because of his quote, "this is the baby I'm supposed to be a mom to. I would be missing out on a gift that had been given to me."

I am thankful for your story and perspective and plan to follow your blog. Thank you for being open and honest.

Jen said...

I found your blog through a story on the Zika virus on msn.com. After just a few minutes of reading, I am hooked! You and your family are beautiful. They are so lucky to have a mom/wife like you! And you're from the Midwest, even more awesome! I look forward to reading your entries.

Dawn Johnson said...

Gwen, Scott and Cal- thank you for being living testaments to the power of love. You remind me there are no mistakes but unique and oft-times challenging life experiences and what sets your family apart is your ability to make the best of and find the joy in what you were dealt all the while working your butts off! Kudos to you.Claire and Lola have more love and commitment from you than many. I love your story and your beautiful family. I'm writing this through tears of joy and for that I thank you. Hugs.

Sally said...

Thank you for sharing your story! I once had an idea of what I thought would be a perfect, or ideal life, and was blessed to have that shattered and discover what true happiness and beauty are. It's been a blessing to read about your family in the midst of the Zika scare. Our world needs to chill out and realize that true love for one another will conquer fears. Thanks again!!

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