By Rochelle Gadson


Rochelle’s daughter Abby Gadson

As a mother, one of the greatest pains you can feel is when your child is not happy. You try to find almost anything to bring your child joy. Can I change the world for my child? Can I make people not look at her where she is, but where she is going? I think the most reasonable answer would be, no. But I can bring awareness to this issue so that people will learn.
My daughter Abby was born at 30 weeks, and she stayed in the hospital for three months. During that time she was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. There were many hurdles that we had to climb. I first educated myself on what this disorder was and is, because I have learned that we must always plan ahead.
I do agree that it is not easy, but what I will say is that when you realize that a disability is not a dysfunction but a way to live life triumphantly beyond the shadows, and that the disability does not speak for them, it can be the most magical and inspiring moment of your life.
Just to give a little history, in 2006 Abby had a surgical procedure and as a result she was left paralyzed. So not only does she have Prader- Willi, but also now she has a spinal cord injury. The most reasonable thing anybody would say is, what?! Yes I can be angry, disappointed, and I can feel like I have lost all hope. I can play the blame game and find reasons to hate, but also I can tell myself that things could have been worse. I know some of you might say, “Worse? How can it be worse?” Well, you see, she could have died. So I taught myself to treasure every moment for a lifetime, stand firm and embrace each moment for what it is, not letting it control me or determine how I will respond.
Oh believe me, I didn’t learn this in a day. It took time and effort to decide to be a survivor with my daughter. In each journey we always have to find new paths, because each day is forever changing and we have to learn to maximize the change.
Author Bio: Rochelle is a native of Nassau, Bahamas. She has lived in South Carolina for 13 years. She is a mother of three daughters and one son and will be celebrating 14 years of marriage to Solomon Gadson. She believes that life is not based on our accomplishments but on the lives we touch – that we are given journeys in life and some are good and some not but how we deal with them will determine our outcome.