model

‘Is it the right decision?’ They came to take her. I stood, paralyzed, and watched as she disappeared. There was debilitating fear.’: Girl with Down syndrome survives new heart surgery, ‘She’s one of the first to have it’

“I kept taking her picture, scared it could be the last one. I counted every eyelash, perfectly placed on her eyes. She would be the first on the West Coast to have this surgery. I didn’t want to let her go because then the decision would be final.”

‘My parents detonated a bomb inside our tiny, thatched roof hut. I was supposed to die that night.’: Adopted bomb survivor now hopeful paralympic swimmer, ‘I’m so thankful for the opportunities this life has given me’

“A woman with 6 children had a strong feeling a child was missing from their family and they were supposed to adopt. A week later, they were told a horrific story of a baby in Vietnam who had survived a bomb blast. It was as if we had both been waiting for each other thousands of miles apart.”

‘It can’t be bad, you’re young. You look fine.’ I questioned whether my symptoms were in my head.’: Single mom diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, ‘I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but I’m ready to fight’

“I went from busy full days of work to barely handling the commute. I struggled to keep up with other moms my age. Misconceptions such as, ‘Young people can’t get it,’ and ‘You look totally healthy,’ infuriated me. It’s not just a disease for the elderly. I wasn’t fighting only for myself, but also my son.”

‘Her tampon was poisoning her. ‘It’s okay, the ambulance is coming.’ She took a deep breathe, and closed her eyes.’: Mom loses daughter to Toxic Shock Syndrome, ‘My beautiful girl was a fighter’

“It was my daughter’s 19th birthday. She was sick to her stomach and had a fever. She was just lying in bed. Her eyes were open, but she was out of it. Suddenly, she stopped breathing. I screamed, ‘Don’t leave me, I love you, please don’t leave me.’ My girl was a fighter.”

‘I was offered a ‘fashion model’ job. Naive, I took it. It was a false company ran by dead people in other states.’: Human trafficking survivor speaks out, ‘I never thought it would happen to me’

“I was a junior in college who’d just lost my scholarship. I needed money to pay my tuition, so I took the job. I was a small town girl, self-absorbed in my own world. Maybe I was too young, or too naive. I thought it was a ‘black or hispanic problem’ in the urban city. Over the course of a few months, my life came to an abrupt halt. This was anything but a modeling agency.”

‘Don’t take her home with you,’ I was told. ‘If you have other kids, she’ll be a detriment to them.’ How wrong they were.’: Mom keeps baby, now world’s first ‘working model’ with Down Syndrome

“I’d never taken Madeline to a fashion show before because she was always sick. When her health increased, we walked in as I thought to myself, ‘What have I done?!’ I knew full well my daughter would want to be on that catwalk, too. Sure enough, after the show, she turned to me and said, ‘Mom. Me. Model.’ I’m the type of mom to do whatever I can to make things happen. Little did I know what this all would turn into.”

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