strength

‘Thinking she had the flu, we took our little girl to the hospital. She was minutes away from dying. ‘She won’t make it through the night,’ the doctor said. She turned to me. ‘Mom, I can do this!’

“We told the doctor, ‘Do anything you have to in order to save our baby girl!’ The infection spread throughout her tiny body. She is a competitive dancer and her passion is being on the stage. ‘Mom, I am going to dance again!’ She woke up in a coma with her entire body wrapped in white gauze.”

‘In 1997, at the lowest point in my life, I snapped and bought a gun. I was almost a school shooter.’: Man overcomes abusive childhood, bullying, says ‘kindness’ stopped him from doing ‘the worst thing imaginable’

“When you’ve been told you’re ‘worthless’ enough times, you’ll believe it. I had no home and often slept outdoors. The isolation and bullying became unbearable. I wanted to feel an emotion other than pain. I wanted to feel, for once, like I was in control. If I’d possessed a rifle, I would have been a killer. If I’d known love, I would have never wanted a rifle.”

‘My daughter started bawling and wouldn’t let go of me. ‘All you do is sleep!’ My friends would say, ‘You’re a single mom. It’s normal to be tired.’ I knew something was wrong.’

‘It was happening at home, at work, at the grocery store. When I got home, I would give my daughter a snack and immediately go to sleep. Every time I got up to use the restroom, my heart rate would shoot up. I started teaching my 8-year-old how to call 911 if I couldn’t make it to the phone.”

‘We’re sorry. It’s cancer.’ We’ve spent 150+ nights in the hospital. I quit my job. My husband ran out of sick days.’: Mom’s newborn diagnosed with Leukemia, community sacrifices sick days to help

“We noticed a shift in our bubbly girl’s personality. Kinsley stopped sleeping. She had a diaper rash we couldn’t control. She was constantly fussy and the days seemed like years. They continually told me it was average baby things, that she was teething, she was fine, this was normal. There was nothing normal about it. My mom instincts were on high alert.”

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