It was Shereene’s dream to one day see her daughter Kiara on the cover of a magazine, to show off her beautiful smile. We wanted to make that dream come true, by putting her on the front page of one of our last paper editions of Touchstone. Read on to hear Shereene’s experience being mum to our newest cover girl, Kiara.
Kiara is just like any other nine-year-old girl. She loves to go to school, play with her toys and read books. She’s an independent thinker and she knows what she wants but it’s so frustrating for her when she can’t run around with her brothers and sisters, or tell us her thoughts.
Kiara was born not breathing. It took the doctors nine long seconds to resuscitate her, but by then the damage to her brain was done. Two days after she was born, Kiara was diagnosed with quadriplegia cerebral palsy, one of the most severe types.
At the beginning I was in denial. I didn’t know anything about cerebral palsy or what it meant for my little girl’s life until one of the doctors told me the most heartbreaking news. Kiara would never walk and she would never talk.
It was then I had to erase all of the plans I had to teach her to ride a bike, take her to ballet class, or watch her run around with her friends; and instead our lives became the inside of therapy rooms and doctors’ clinics. It was tough.
But things started to change when I was told about CPL – Choice, Passion, Life by one of the nurses at the local hospital. As Kiara turned two, we turned to CPL for support. Our goals were simply to teach our precious girl to walk and talk. That was seven years ago now and we’re still working towards those goals.
This year CPL is supporting us to investigate options for Kiara to learn to talk, so one day she can have a conversation with us, her teachers and friends.
Being a mum is the greatest blessing in my life and I feel incredibly special to have Kiara as my daughter. When Kiara was born, I had no idea what life would look like, but nine years later I can truly say I’m happy and I hope she is too.