My teenage daughter Jade has been Abbey’s and my biggest hero. She took the initiative from the start to learn how to care for Abbey (even give her shots) so that she could help out. She also has been one of Abbey’s biggest encouragers and supporters and even dressed up like a Disney Princess for Abbey’s birthday party. (Submitted by Kelly Aardal)
Rachel’s hero is her dad, Brian Steele.! Rachel adores her daddy! (Submitted by Roxanne Steele)
Sadie Joyce is our Hope hero. She is the best big sister Leah Faith could have. She loves and cuddles her, but also picks at her as in any normal sister relationship. Leah Faith is selective with her kisses and they are usually reserved for her Sadie! Sadie has also literally embraced every child of HoPE she has encountered and truly wants to meet them all! I can’t leave out my Mom, Angelika Phillips, who tirelessly fills my caretaker position as often as necessary. Taking Leah to appointments, feeding, bathing, snuggling, whatever the need! (Submitted by Ramona Joyce)
In our journey with HPE, there are many people who make a difference . . . but there are some who are quiet, unsung heroes. . . those whom we can never thank enough, yet we owe them the world.
The one hero we have had from day one of our journey has always been my mother, Harley’s grandmother. Grammy helps our family out in so many ways. From getting up every morning to take Harley’s older sister to school so that I will not have to get Harley out. To sewing blankets, pillows, pajamas, bags for Harley’s formula and syringes. To going out of her way to make sure that Harley gets every single item off her Christmas list! lol But most importantly , Grammy just loves Harley unconditionally. She can hold her for hours or sit beside her massaging her feet or holding her hand. She will run errands like picking up medications from the pharmacy or a few things from the grocery store when I am simply just exhausted. She has never told me no when I have asked for any help from her. If she is busy or has other plans, she will rearrange her schedule so that she can come to help out. She has been our sole “babysitter” and I know that any time Harley is in her care she is not only going to be safe, she is going to be loved. I cannot think of what we would ever do without her, and I can only strive to be the kind of mother and one day grandmother that she is. (Submitted by Pamela Sanchez Tucker)
Our unsung hero would be my mother-in-law, Leann Gates. Leann took care of Miss Madelyn as much as I did. I was able to work full time because she came to my house to stay with Maddie. She went to every doctor appointment with us and was with her at most therapy sessions. Madelyn was a mommy’s girl, but if mommy couldn’t be there, Grandma was close second. Grandma loved to just hold Maddie and rock her and love her everyday. (Submitted by Arika Gates)
I’d like to recognize my mom as our hero. She raised me to be a strong, independent woman, and it came in handy when I was handed a grim outlook for Mia. She laughs with me, cries with me, and supports me through thick and thin.
She always listens to my concerns, and when I talk about other HPE families and friends, we talk about how strong and supportive all of them have been, no matter the issue or question. She is always there for me no matter what I face, no matter how big or small. She is my rock. When we don’t see her for a day, we FaceTime her. She is Mia’s “nah-nah”! (Submitted by Larisa Denney)
Our unsung hero is Marissa’s pediatrician, Dr. Copeland. He has stepped up and taken care of her diagnosis and has not looked at the bad, just the good. I have never heard him say, “No, she can’t” which is nice. (Submitted by Molly Johnson)
Miss Penny, Harrison’s preschool teacher, never excluded Harrison from any activities and she capitalized on his strengths. She saw that he had a love of frogs and taught him The Five Green and Speckled Frogs song. (Submitted by Heather Stauft)
Maeve met Taylor at school, and it’s easy to say that Taylor is Maeve’s best friend. Taylor enjoys hanging out and playing with Maeve after school and weekends. When Taylor walks in, Maeve lights up! (Submitted by Ed Tierney)
Two of our heroes are our hospice nurse, Margaret, and a dear friend, Susan Keller, both in Utah. These women served our family and many times well outside the perimeters of their callings. They loved our family, but more importantly, they loved and saw Eva like we did, God’s perfect gift. (Submitted by Gabby Pena)
The staff at CCCDP in Raleigh. They are the team for children with hearing impairments at UNC-CH. Even though they had never seen a child like Cayden & had no idea if his brain could even process sound, they took a chance & were not afraid to try. As a result, his life changed drastically with the addition of hearing and his personality blossomed.
And Cayden’s 0-3 HI specialist, Mary Lou Wright, probably taught me the most about how to work with Cayden: how to talk to him, how to treat him, how to allow him to explore things. She was a great teacher for me on the early road of my SN parenting & I owe her a great deal. (Submitted by Shira Arnold)
An unsung hero in our journey with Sammy is Ann Like, who was one of Sammy’s home health nurses. When Sammy was 14 months old, he stopped breathing one night while sleeping, and because Ann was attentive at his bedside, she immediately used her training and experience to keep oxygen circulating and his heart beating. Because of her actions, we were blessed with another 3+ years with Sammy in our arms. (Submitted by Leslie Harley)