Meet Brielle and Kerith

In 1995, I was the married mother of a toddler working in marketing. My life changed dramatically when our second daughter, Brielle, was born affected by CMV (cytomegalovirus). I quit my career and became a stay-at-home mother when she was six months old to focus my time and attention to her needs.                                          
I had never heard of CMV. Now I know that 1 in 150 babies born are infected with the congenital CMV infection. About 1 in 5 children born with the infection will develop permanent problems such as hearing or vision loss, mental or developmental disabilities, seizures, and death, in rare cases.

My daughter, Brielle, is one of those children.

Brielle is now a highschooler and doing well despite CMV. She has CP (cerebral palsy), walks with a limp, and has an impaired right arm and hand. She needs assistance with basic care needs including dressing, bathing, and toileting. Brielle does not have any hearing loss (very common for CMV), but she cannot speak due to the CP. Instead, she uses sign language and occasionally uses a communication app on her iPod to communicate when I am not with her to interpret. She functions academically at about a fourth grade level for everything except math, which lags behind.
Brielle bowls in the winter with Special Olympics, plays baseball in the fall and spring on a Miracle League team, and plays soccer on a special needs team with TOPSoccer. She spends her free time dancing with teen idol bands on her iPod, doodling in a notebook, or watching teen shows or Scooby Doo. She has an infectious squeal and a smile that can light up a room.
I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, time with friends and family, and signing (not singing) for my church’s Praise Team. I have recently taken up acrylic painting, which I have more enthusiasm for than I have time.

I live in a northern suburb of Atlanta, GA with my husband, Brian (married 23 years), 19-year-old daughter, Ashley (who started college in the fall of 2012), Brielle (now 17), and our white Miniature Schnauzer, Cooper.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to read comments! Feel free to include a link to your blog or social media accounts so that I can hop over for a visit!