Mobilize Me Campaign
I am a 57-year-old lady with a rare form of dwarfism. (Conradie-Hunermann-Happle Syndrome – 1.17m). Throughout my life, I have been exceptionally resilient, conquering significant challenges and traumatic experiences. However, there comes a time when one must set aside one’s pride and accept a helping hand.
I was blessed to grow up in a loving family, but being the only child, and so fragile, overly protected to some extent, which made the transition to boarding school very difficult. Back then, children with disabilities were shipped off to special schools. Thinking back, it may have been my saving grace because it forced me to become fiercely independent.
My ultimate dream was to become a medical doctor, but I was denied due to my petite stature. So, I pursued my second passion, psychology. Unfortunately, during my third year of studies, I had to undergo extensive leg surgery, which completely derailed my plans. To this day, I regret dropping out.
Good things do happen, I married the man of my dreams! He was average height, handsome and I was on cloud 9. Due to my concerns about the potential inheritance of my dwarfism, my husband and I made the decision to explore adoption. I had a genetic screening to assess the likelihood of this inheritance.
Fortunately, the results of the tests were in our favor, giving us the green light to proceed. I became pregnant quickly. My gynecologist, fully aware of the need for a cesarean section and the possibility of a premature birth, took every precaution to ensure a safe delivery. At 34 weeks, our little girl came into the world, but tragically, she passed away within minutes. It was later determined that she lacked a diaphragm, which is essential for breathing. I was left shattered, and the process of physical and emotional recovery was slow and extremely difficult.
Miracles do happen… We adopted the most beautiful baby boy. My life was complete. I thrived in motherhood. Finding healing and immense joy in nurturing my family and creating a warm and loving home. Three years later, we adopted another bundle of joy, our precious girl.
Life has thrown me a series of unexpected curve balls, more than once, but when the very foundation of my existence was threatened, it was a devastating blow. My husband's infidelity and affairs left me feeling inadequate and insecure. Despite these hardships, I persevered, and fought relentlessly to salvage my marriage and protect our family. However, the breaking point came when he had an affair with my best friend and he wanted to divorce after 18 years of marriage. I had never held a job outside of our home, didn't have a bank account, and I couldn’t drive. He sold our house, and even though the court mandated his complete financial support, it never materialized.
Left with the responsibility of caring for our children, I found myself without a home, career, and a broken heart. My health also deteriorated, leading to 17 surgeries and 13 moves in the past 15 years. Hell was unleashed on me and all I could do was to survive each day as best I could.
I have done more than survived, I can drive now, I raised 2 amazing children, and I am employed by an organisation for persons with disabilities and it is wonderful to contribute to this vulnerable group.
Unfortunately, my back has severely deteriorated due to scoliosis and kyphosis, necessitating the use of a power wheelchair or scooter. Additionally, I require hand controls for my car to enable me to maintain my independence. This is critical as I am the sole provider for my family of four. I support my elderly mother, my daughter ) and little granddaughter and it is a tremendous struggle to make ends meet. I resonate with these words by William Dunkerley - Love ever gives-forgives-outlives and ever stands with open hands. And while it lives, it gives. For this is love's prerogative - to give and give and give. I find myself on the opposite side of this journey, and it's not easy.
sincerely grateful for any assistance you can provide.