advocate

‘They put him on my chest for the first time. The doctors did a double take and immediately took him back. ‘Treacher Collins? WHAT?’: Little boy with Treacher Collins Syndrome spreads kindness and acceptance

“FINALLY! I was induced, and FOUR days later, PJ came out! His dad and I cried tears of joy. Then the doctors did a double take and took him away. I thought he was the most beautiful boy, but I feared how he would be treated by other kids. He will always look this way.”

‘They were dropped off sick with pneumonia. The oldest had underwear that had been worn for so long, it had fecal matter stains.’: Stepmom stands her ground against abusive ex-wife, ‘It breaks my heart’

“You want to talk crazy? She requested the judge order him to refer to her as his ‘wife’ and sleep in the same bed as her. It felt like I was in the twilight zone. She even refused to work or support her children financially. She didn’t let him see his children for over a year. It eventually tore my husband and me apart.”

‘What are we supposed to do?’ It must be my fault. I turned to Google for answers and was terrified.’: Mom has surprise Down syndrome baby, ‘Life looks a lot different now than it did 5 years ago’

“She asked us, ‘Did you know he has Down syndrome?’ I was a little shocked. We told her, ‘No, we haven’t noticed.’ She simply said, ‘Well, he does,’ and walked straight out of the room. Her tone and her demeanor were so condescending. I instantly felt fear, anger, and guilt wash over. There were no offers for resources, no books or pamphlets, no direction on what to do next.”

‘This pair I worked doggedly to keep together until the end, will be separated, condemned to die alone, and cared for by strangers.’: Social worker urges medical planning, ‘Your loved ones are worth it’

“I watched in horror as the Leviathan of our legal and healthcare system grabbed this couple and sucked them into the abyss, pulling them out of my hands. I fought with everything I had to secure this couple a happy ending. As one patient said to me, ‘Getting old is not for the weak or poor.”

‘The nurse handed my daughter back. I instantly noticed her teeny tiny ears. ‘Do you think she has IT?’ I looked at my husband in fear.’: Mom of 3 births baby with down syndrome, ‘She is the most amazing human being I’ve ever met’

“I thought my husband would tell me to stop being so dramatic and ridiculous. After all, I was only 32 and I had a 0.0014% chance. Instead, he looked back at me, glossy-eyed, and said, ‘Maybe.’ My heart sank. The nurse unswaddled my baby and stared as my eyes filled with tears. I felt like my life, as I knew it, was over.”

‘Wait! Take this!’ Little feet came running. ‘She wants you to take her favorite card so she’s sure you’ll come back.’: Young woman adopted at 26 becomes advocate for other foster children

“At age 4, her vocabulary includes words that would break your heart. Her home is a revolving door of state workers, strangers, appointments. She looked up with piercing blue eyes, her hand outstretched towards me. ‘You know she wants you to take her favorite card so she’s sure you’ll come back, right?’ With tears in my eyes, I placed it safely in the front pocket of my purse. ‘I promise I’ll come back for you.'”

‘I gave an ultimatum. ‘Get help or I need a divorce.’ Something jolted me awake at 1 a.m. The door to the gun safe was open.’: Widow finds forgiveness after husband’s suicide, ‘I meet his memory with sympathy’

“As soon as I woke, I immediately went looking for my husband. I don’t know how, but I knew something was terribly wrong. I searched room-by-room and when I got to the office, I saw it. A note on the desk. I remember screaming in my backyard, crying to the 911 operator. ‘Can you tell me about his erratic behavior?’ I watched the blood on my hands go down the sink as I tried my best to answer questions. Guilt washed over me.”

‘Ma’am, have a seat.’ I wanted to scream, ‘Look at the scar down my chest, I’m not making this up!’ but it was too late. They didn’t believe me.’: Woman finally diagnosed with invisible illness Myasthenia Gravis after 6-year battle  

“I was written off as hormonal. My husband frantically demanded I be intubated. He kept screaming, ‘The oxygen levels don’t matter. She’s in a Myasthenic Crisis!’ I tried to take a breath. It was too late. All my muscles started twitching. I was flopping around on the hospital gurney uncontrollably. Suffocating. I was dying and no one was listening to my husband’s desperate pleas. I heard Code Blue called over the intercom and faded away. I didn’t wake for 2 weeks.”

‘I just want to be a normal mom who loves her baby.’ I kept my secret, scared people would think of me as ‘the crazy chick who wanted to hurt her baby.’: Mom reveals struggle with severe postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis

“The constant thought of, ‘I should just crash my car into a tree,’ kept playing in my mind. I was thinking of every way possible to leave Molly and go back to the way my life once was. I was scared to be left alone with Molly. I didn’t trust myself, and I was scared to admit it to anyone. Scared people would always think of me as ‘the crazy chick that wanted to hurt her baby.'”

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