diagnosis

‘After my C-section, I heard, ‘Wow! He’s got a big birthmark on his face.’: Baby is born with Port-Wine Stain and Sturge-Weber Syndrome, ‘Never did I think I would have to consider what anti-seizure medication would best keep my child thriving.’

“A bright reddish-purple color covered more than half of my newborn son’s face. ‘Will this birthmark fade? Will it get worse? What will other people think? Can this lead to other health issues?’ Looking back now, those first months of Leo’s life, I was living in fear. I was consumed by anxiety, exhaustion, and confusion.”

‘Wait, you’re not kidding? 30 seconds ago, our life was perfect.’ I suddenly needed him in my arms. ‘This is not your fault. You are just a baby.’: Couple shocked by son’s Down syndrome diagnosis, ‘You’re not the baby I thought you were, but you’re still MY baby.’

“We were on cloud nine: our baby was here, he seemed to be in perfect health. I remember hugging him, saying, ‘Welcome to our family! I’m so happy to finally meet you!’ I commented on his nose and ears, but again, no red flags. Babies fresh from the womb all look like aliens anyway. His face suddenly looked completely different. I remember thinking, ‘This is not your fault.’ From the first moment I met him, he’s been whispering to me, ‘It’s okay, Mom. There’s nothing to be afraid of.'”

‘If we waited 2 more weeks, you would’ve been paralyzed from the neck down.’ I was in and out of consciousness. Death wasn’t the only thing on my mind.’: 15-year-old undergoes brain surgery after feeling dizzy, discovers rare chronic brain condition, Type 1 Chiari Malformation

“I knew something was very wrong. I was barely able to hold myself up. ‘Really Jen? Pull it together.’ No one had answers. All I heard was, ‘I think you’re depressed.’ I felt like someone had filled my head with cement. At this point, I had given up. I convinced myself I was out of my mind. I laid in that MRI machine and lost track of time. I felt like my life was over at 15. The tech pulled up the images on the computer. ‘You’re going to need a neurosurgeon.’”

‘Did yoga do this to you?’ I woke up seeing double. Things took a turn. ‘I know it’s a lot to take in.’ I was shocked.’: Young woman comes to terms with multiple sclerosis diagnosis, ‘I won’t let this hold me back’

“I remember sitting in the waiting room. I lost all control of myself and burst into tears. What if the MS diagnosis was wrong? It felt wrong! I just wanted to opt-out of this, but there was no way. Still crying, I signed my name. All I felt was a little pinch before I went completely numb.”

‘I find you arrogant, rude, disrespectful and jealous.’ A workplace conflict left me hurt. She didn’t believe a single word.’: Woman learns of autism diagnosis at 23, ‘I finally learned the truth. I am not broken’

“Teachers would say, ‘Lauren is very polite, gifted, such a cute little girl.’ My peers started to reject me. My school life was marred by rumors and taunts. I began to tell myself, ‘There is something wrong with you.’ I could never remember to bathe. I once went half a year without washing my hair. At age 23, I finally learned the truth. I am autistic. I am not broken.”

‘Mom, look at THAT!’ my son yelled. I had no idea what he was referring to. It looked like just a plain storefront.’: Colorblind boy receives color-correcting glasses for first time ever 

“I found out Jonathan was colorblind when he was 9 years old. I never quite understood the extent it affected him. Today, in his science class, he received color-correcting glasses from his teacher for the first time ever. ‘Mom, look at that flashing OPEN sign! I had no idea! Do you see how bright red and blue the letters are?! I could look at this all day!’ I was blown away.” 

‘We need to make her soup so she feels better!’ I had to explain to my 5-year-old his sister was going to heaven.’: Mom loses daughter to Neuroblastoma, ‘we will never forget our brave, beautiful warrior’

“I watched her breathe so slowly. ‘It’s okay to go now. You won’t be in pain anymore.’ At 9:14 p.m. she took her last breath. Her brothers cuddled her one last time and said their final goodbyes. There’s something about seeing your 5-year-old carrying a tiny little casket that will break your heart and make you so proud all at the same time. He was always holding his little sister, even in death.”

‘What’s that?’ I grumbled. ‘Your dad bought you things while you were in surgery.’: Woman diagnosed with thyroid cancer learns important lessons from father through poignant gifts

“In the first coherent moments after surgery, I was in a hospital room with my husband by my side. Everyone had kissed me goodbye and returned home. It must have been the drugs, because I was suddenly concerned about a white gift bag sitting on the counter. I motioned for him to bring it to me. The bag contained three gifts: a square, a stone, and a scarf.”

‘I have to get out of here!’ At 10, I looked back to see an old man chasing me. I felt chills up my spine.’: Woman begins healing journey after confronting stalking trauma, ‘I have finally stopped blaming myself’

“Things came to a boiling point. I ran all the way back to my house, flew up the stairs, locked the door, and melted into tears, gasps. The police didn’t help. ‘He hasn’t hurt her yet. We can’t do anything.’ He hadn’t hurt me YET. Imagine my 10-year-old brain trying to process this. How could I feel safe? All of my innocence, comfort went out the window. Every morning, he gazed at me from my bus stop.”

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