a little introduction to an extraordinary girl and her very proud young mom
I feel like an introduction was the only way to start in this new space ...
So, hi there! Welcome! 🌱
My name is Emily and that beautiful girl standing next to me is Abby! You may have seen a heartfelt video floating around the internet of a sweet girl, in a Texas shirt, walking across her living room for the very first time at seven years old. That little girl's story begins far before her first steps ...
Eight years and one day from today, Abigail Grace was welcomed into this world by a teenage mom who had just celebrated her eighteen birthday a few months before. The next months to follow were pure bliss. That teenage mom, who had fought for her will to stay alive finally had a purpose in the challenging world that she had experienced up until this point. It is almost natural to tell this part of the story in third person because it is hard to believe that person was once myself.
Throughout those first six months of Abby's life, I got to experience love like I had never known prior. I had the privilege of spending every single moment, every single day, with this small little human who instantly felt like my soulmate and best friend. Eight years later and I still cannot put into words how much Abby has completely changed my perspective on life.
Shortly following those first 6 months, we started noticing little things that set Abby apart from others her age. Her mobility was delayed, she was very quiet and almost too calm or content. For the next twelve months these little things were becoming big things. Those small differences were becoming larger differences. We were reassured over and over that she "would _____ when she is ready!"
While Abby has evolved incredibly throughout the last eight years, something that never changed was the way she could light up a room. Her smile, her laugh, her contagious energy. Even with odds against her, you could never find her without a smile. ✨
It took two long years and countless appointments to finally learn that Abby was in fact developing abnormally. We learned that in utero, Abby's cerebellum did not develop like it should. Instead, the lower back part of her brain is mostly filled by spinal fluid. This is specifically known as Dandy Walker Malformation and it is a rare, genetic condition. More commonly, it causes physical disabilities that affect movement and coordination, and may eventually be categorized as Cerebral Palsy.
So there we were ... I was nineteen years old, Abby was two years old, and her little brother Liam was on the way. This new chapter of life had brought its own challenges. Not only was I navigating being such a young mom, a newly wed wife, but I was introduced to navigating a new world of neurology, therapy, and advocacy. Around me, there were not many individuals that really understood this world or could be there to support me on this journey. The entire process of accepting a diagnosis will be a story for another day ... but to be transparent it was completely isolating.
That isolation brought us to HERE, That isolation inspired me to SHARE. 🌿
Sharing my thoughts, feelings, and moments connected us with some of the most beautiful individuals, the most incredible community, and we built a platform that led to opportunities beyond our wildest dreams..
Currently, Abby is eight years old and continues to light up every space that she is in. Abby attends virtual online public school alongside her little brother, Liam, who is just two years younger than her. In addition to Liam, Abby has a little sister named Koston who is about to turn two years old!
In addition to her ads in Target, Abby can be found in a TV commercial for a children's hospital, as well as other various clothing brand ads. She walked in New York Fashion Week and was featured in Parents Magazine! Over on our social media platforms, we have had incredible opportunities to work with brands like Disney, Nike, and much more.
There is so much more to our story than many have known, and I am now sharing on this platform with much more room for elaboration. There are so many more beautiful stories to come. We are just getting started.
That is why we are here, and that is why it is such a pleasure to formally introduce ourselves to you.
I am Emily. This is Abby. and we are so happy that YOU are here. 💘