beat the odds

‘I was 19, pregnant. ‘Your baby is missing arms and legs. I’m only seeing 2 toes and a partial foot.’ I thought it was some cruel joke.’: Teen mom births baby with phocomelia, ‘He beat all the odds’

“Evan was whisked away immediately after birth. My stepmother grabbed my mother and left the room. Both were visibly shaken. I overheard them in the hall: ‘You’ve got to get it together. They need us now more than ever!’ The doctor entered. ‘Ms. Sanchez, there is a problem. Your son’s spine is severely twisted and growing out of the side of his back. If this continues, it will pull his ribcage into his heart and kill him.’ I was devastated.”

‘She is simply too complicated.’ They didn’t see me as a little girl anymore. I was nothing but a body.’: Childhood leukemia survivor’s most important lesson, ‘Emotions are meant to be felt’

“I made a promise to myself. If I was cleared from having the chance of developing a second cancer, I’d get a tattoo. I met a lady who asked me a question that changed my life and perspective forever. ‘Why are you the way that you are?’ she asked. From then on, we became connected by the heart. We were able to help heal each other.”

‘Alright, I’m cutting open! Get ready to grab.’ Then doctor yelled, ‘He’s out!’ I never heard my son cry.’: Mom rejoices NICU warrior for ‘beating the odds,’ says ‘He’s the strongest person I know’

“All of a sudden, I felt liquid explode out of me… I looked at my nurse. ‘Umm, something just came out of me!’ My nurse lifted up my gown. ‘Her water broke!!!’ Nurses came running in, but the only person who spoke to me was the anesthesiologist. ‘I’m going to stand by your side the whole time. I’ll make sure you’re ok,’ he told me.”

‘At 15, I became pregnant with my daughter. I had to raise a child while still growing up myself. I received hate and rumors spread.’ Teen mom beats the odds to graduate college and ‘reach success’

“Everyone recognized me by pregnant belly, rather than by my face. I dealt with dirty looks and whispers in the hallways. In college, I got pregnant with my son. It wasn’t easy. I have been in abusive relationships, been days away from planning a wedding, only to find out I was ‘only an option.’ I wanted to give up, on everything. But I was strong for my children.”

‘I was pregnant at only 17. In true Jerry Springer style, I married the childhood best friend of my baby’s daddy.’: Teen mom says she was ‘petrified but determined’ and ‘always knew’ she’d have the baby

“The news rocked my parents’ world. I was smart in school and dumb in love. I enrolled in community college, worked a full-time job and went to class at night. I married a man who had been my friend from the start. He too was at the hospital the night my daughter was born. When my daughter was 11, my husband adopted her. The paperwork was the thing that gave her his name, though she already had his heart.”

‘He shook her violently and put her in the tub. There were bruises on her little body. He thought she was dead.’: Woman works to pass child abuse bill after granddaughter survives shaken baby syndrome

“My son-in-law called, saying Miley was choking and had stopped breathing. I dropped the phone and drove to the house where I found him standing in the doorway, holding a lifeless baby. I noticed bruising on her chin. I knew right away her father had hurt her badly. She had a 20% chance of survival.”

‘Want drugs?’ My bio dad, just released from prison, sat me on the toilet and injected meth into my arm.’: After surviving child abuse, living in 40 foster homes, man finds ‘home’ in his kids’ arms

“I was usually good at hiding my bruises, but one day I didn’t do a very good job. ‘How did this happen?!’ my teacher asked. I told her it was from carrying firewood. Minutes after I got home, there was a man in a tan suit at my door. CPS. The beginning of my journey across 40 foster homes. I feel so lucky to have beaten the odds. Not for me, but for my sons. I’d go through my childhood 1,000 times if it meant my sons didn’t have to.”

‘We said ‘I love you’ at 13. He didn’t care I wore a wig. He found me broken and slowly put the pieces back together.’ Woman with Hodgkin’s lymphoma falls back in love with childhood crush, conceives after infertility predictions

“I remember chunks of hair falling onto my pillow. My body transformed. It took a while to look in the mirror and see my naked face with no eyebrows, yellow eyes. Sometimes I wondered if I’d ever feel better. Then afterwards, it all hits you like a train and you sit there and literally think to yourself, ‘What the heck did I just go through and how in the world did we do it?’ Life after cancer is not easy. One side effect of chemo? Infertility.”

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