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Caregiver Contest Grand Prize Winner: Brianna B.

03/24/23  11:28 AM PST

Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner Brianna B. from Ohio.

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question I asked myself many times when growing up. Being a caregiver was never something I saw myself doing. My senior year of high school at the young age of 16 I found out I was pregnant. The mix of emotions that ran through my body were immense, but I believed in myself. Around 19 weeks it was discovered that my son had something called ventriculomegaly. The doctors told me the worst-case scenario and my world stopped. From that moment forward I was never the same. Taking care of my boy was and still is my whole life. We found out that he had a genetic deletion named 1p36 deletion syndrome after birth and since some of his genes were mutated that caused many abnormalities such as epilepsy, developmental delay, & adrenal dysfunction. Taking care of him has not only taught me how to appreciate the little things in life, but to also how to love myself even when I feel like everything around me is falling apart. I’ve always seen the world differently and had a soft spot in my heart for those who were considered “different”. My son has taught me a great deal of patience & appreciation to life. It’s okay to mess up, it is okay to work at your own pace, there is no reason to rush to the end. Life is way too unpredictable & short to spend time huffing & puffing, rushing around & chasing money all the time. Stopping & smelling the flowers, admiring the clouds in the sky & feeling each strand of grass between your toes is okay. Being his caregiver also showed me the many flaws that I had within myself. He taught me how to dig deep in my soul and break every mental chain that was instilled in me and he gave me the heart of a lion. Anything is possible no matter the circumstances. If I could show the doctors that told me what they told me while pregnant the boy he is today they would be blown away. Although he is almost 5 and doesn’t walk, talk, sit up, or stand, he carries the peace to any uncertainty I have in life when I look into his eyes. I am now halfway through my associates degree and I am majoring in neurodiagnostic technology. I want to pursue my graduate’s degree in neuroscience to study “special” humans to help families cope and understand why and what situation they were put in. I want to change the way the world looks at these special humans. Being a caregiver has changed my life in ways I can’t thank the higher power enough for. We were made for each other…

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