Gang! Let’s help a little girl with a big dream!
Before I go on, I want to tell you a story. Almost ten years ago, I was here living in NY, and I got a call from my dad in Colombia. He was crying — he NEVER cries. He was desperate, he couldn’t speak. My sister, who was pregnant with my niece, started bleeding at about seven months of pregnancy. The doctors had detected something wrong with her baby.
They noticed part of the baby’s brain wasn’t formed. The connective tissue between the left and right side of the brain was not there. My sister was immediately given all kinds of prognoses: Death in utero/at birth or extreme birth malformations.
Then it was ALL of us in Colombia and New York crying, screaming, punching the walls trying to understand why. Why my sister? Why my niece? Why our family?
Later, we understood the why…
….and now we wouldn’t change a thing. Valeria changed our lives.
Months later my niece was born. She was born alive and beautiful. All the malformations we’d been warned about weren’t there. Of course, that pertained to only what the eye could see. But after a lot of tests and scans, the doctors confirmed she did have a brain injury, and they didn’t provide much hope. “She’ll live a year,” they told my sister and brother-in-law.
Today my niece is 9 years old. Sometimes we forget that God has the last word. She’ll turn 10 in August, and she’s the greatest dreamer….The most intelligent girl you’ll ever meet. As you’ll see in the video, she can’t speak but her eyes say it all. She also reads and writes in five languages; and can do all the advanced math I can’t.
Her parents have gone above and beyond to give her an AMAZING life. And they have. She’s always experienced everything thanks to her parents embrace. Dancing, cooking, singing, EVERYTHING. If you ask her if she wants to be different, she’ll tell you NO.
Valeria’s Two Urgent Dreams
A couple weeks ago, Valeria’s parents were told she needed a total hip transplant right away. Doctors can’t understand how she’s living with the amount of pain she is. The pain makes sleeping and moving very hard. It also causes powerful seizures at night. Her feet are also rigid and bent — that’s another surgery she will need following the hip replacement.
Unfortunately in Colombia there’s no insurance policy for kids with special needs. ‘Too much of a risk’ they say. So this is it. These are Valeria’s urgent dreams. New hips and new feet.
She was so happy filming this video. It’s amazing when everybody around wants to help and has talents to offer. Photographers, restaurant and dance studio owners, journalists. They’ve all let her use their spaces and talents to put this together. We are all joining forces to help her parents during this time.
Between my other sister and I, we have created a GoFundMe page for Valeria and all her surgical needs. Valeria asks for a lot of prayers, but we all know she needs more than that, right? We do need your prayers though, too. ALL OF THEM!
To be honest, it feels weird to do this. Asking for help. But last night we all went to bed with tears in our eyes and much love in our hearts. Yesterday all the family and friends posted her campaign, and it was incredible to see the effect this little girl has on people’s lives.
I’d been telling my sister about this for a long time. Even before we knew Valeria needed surgery. If you have a kid with special needs, you know that the expenses never end. But sometimes you need a surgeon to tell you “it’s urgent” to actually take action. Valeria needs to have surgery next week.
Let’s do this! Here’s the link to her GoFundMe page
Thank you for opening your heart to her story Also, a BIG thank you to our leader Shana for letting me use this space to share. Love you!
Chao, chao. Julieta