Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Parent to Parent: Unique Me
Having your child diagnosed with a lifelong illness can be frightening for parents. It happened to two local moms who came together to help other families dealing with similar situations. 7's Lynn Martinez shows us in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Two moms, one mission.
Michelle, a busy mother of three, will never forget being pregnant with her daughter Samantha.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "They hospitalized me for eight weeks till my water broke, and then Samantha was born at 28 weeks."
As Sami got older, her parents knew something wasn't right.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "She cried continuously. It wasn't a normal cry, it was a screeching scream."
She was 18 months old before doctors finally diagnosed her with cerebral palsy.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "Your first reaction is, What do I do? What do we do? How do we fix this?"
Claudia had a similar experience when she gave birth early to twins.
Claudia Orrett, Mom: "I was 29 weeks, and my girls were 2 pounds, 2 ounces."
Months later, she noticed her daughter Chloe wasn't progressing like her sister Samantha.
Claudia Orrett, Mom: "She looked like a rag doll, where her head was just flimsy and loose."
Her parents went from doctor to doctor before Chloe was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Both moms became friends through their daughters.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "Claudia and I had always used each other for information."
They knew other families must be going through similar, scary situations.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "We joked, How can we share this information with other people?"
So Unique Me magazine was born.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "Unique Me is a magazine for unique families."
The magazine features articles on everything from food allergies to autism, and how dealing with a child's disability affects the family as a whole.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "The child that has the unique need, the typically developing child, how it affects their lives, how it affects the mother, how it affects the father."
The goal is to help parents dealing with a new diagnosis.
Claudia Orrett, Mom: "They can pick up our magazine and say, 'Oh my God. I remember reading something about that. Let me look into it.'"
Dad: "C'mon, you can do it!"
Now 5 years old, Chloe is making great strides, walking on her own!
Claudia Orrett, Mom: "Eight months ago, she's off the walker."
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "You going to sit up big?"
Sami can sit up, a huge victory, says her mom.
Both parents agree: Having a unique family is truly a blessing.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Mom: "She's a miracle. She's proof that miracles do happen."
Lynn Martinez: "The first issue of Unique Me came out in May. They are always looking for good, personal stories."
For More Information:
Unique Me Magazine