I remember being told when Ali was about 3 months old that she’d always be low functioning and miserable. Today, Ali graduated from Kindergarten and she won a Sunshine award!

Ali, who has been through more this year then a lot of us ever go through won an award for always being positive and cheerful and for helping to enhance school moral and encourage positivity. I have never been prouder of Ali then I’ve been this year. Last summer, Ali went through some really awful testing. It had to do with her hypoglycemia and as her mom, it hurt me to watch. She started daily injections in September and immediately began to experience symptoms of a tethered spinal cord. She went through testing for the cord issue and had a test that in my opinion is probably the most awful medical test she will ever have. She had surgery on her spinal cord, went through a recovery and then needed to get 12 Botox injections in her leg. She’s now in the midst of serial casting. All that in less than a year and on top of her regular echocardiograms, ECGs, ultrasounds, blood work and medical appointments. We’ve also required more of her this year then ever before in both therapy and at school.

She’s had a really busy and difficult year. I wouldn’t blame her if she was miserable and worn down, after all I feel like we’ve all been though a battle this year and I’m ready for all these issues to be resolved. She faces challenges that no one should ever have to face and she’s starting to understand that most kids don’t have to do all the things she does and yet, she won the Sunshine Award! She smiles through everything.  She never gives up.   Even when the tests are scary and she cries and asks us to stop them, she still leaves the room smiling. She is amazing and I can’t tell you how proud I am of her. She has so much strength in that little body and she is so brave.  While she’s dealing with lots of challenges, she is constantly worrying about others and how they’re doing.  She has grown this year into a thoughtful, intelligent and caring little girl.   I am so proud to say that I’m that happy little girl’s mom and I’m proud of the impact she has on the people around her. This kid was never supposed to be happy and today, she got a Sunshine Award!