However, this doll didn't prepare anyone for parenting a child with diverse abilities. Today, I want to introduce you to a real life mom of a beautiful little girl with diverse abilities. Meet Ericka Hostler and her daughter, Coco Loq-Yan Hostler!
|Ericka Hostler with Coco. Ericka is wearing the Deco Fanfare Statement Necklace and matching earrings.|
"Coco Loq-Yan Hostler is 17 months old. She has Down Syndrome and Hirschprungs Disease (bowel disease). I did not know Coco had any health issues until she was born. She had low oxygen saturation and was immediately taken to the nursery to be put on oxygen. As I put her first outfit on, I turned to the doctors and asked them if they could check to see if she had Down Syndrome because she looked like my brother Isaiah that has DS. That first night that we were transferred to a different hospital, and did not know if she was going to be ok, I had some fear in me, but the moment I got to that next hospital and was able to hold her, she was just my baby girl and that fear and worry slipped away. The next 4 months we spent in Children Hospital in San Fransisco fighting for her life. She was also born with 4 holes in her heart and had Open Heart surgery at 2 months old. She also under went 6 different bowel surgeries. After probably the first year of facing a lot of the health issues, things started to get easier and we got into a routine. Right now some of the challenges we face are getting the best medical care possible for Coco because we live in a rural area. Also, finding good child care that me as a mom is comfortable with, and that Coco is getting pushed to her potential. Financially it is a hardship on our family, but so are my other kids:) The biggest resource I have is myself because my brother also has Down Syndrome and I grew up watching him grow up and seeing the struggles and challenges my parents faced. That experience has allowed me to process the emotion aspect a lot quicker than some parents and beware of the local resources available for families such as the regional center, local and internet support groups, California Children Services. Coco's life and story has touched and affected more people in her short 17 months of life than I have in the last 28 years! She has showed me what unconditional love is and what a positive attitude and smile can do for any challenge. I have learned to push her to her limits, and in turn I have learned to push myself to the limits :) My advice to parents would be to not let fear paralyze you or keep you from enjoying every moment with your child."
Thank you Ericka and Coco for sharing your story. I know you have encouraged so many through your transparency and persistence! Go #TeamCoco
This project is intended to support the inclusion of people like Coco in our society today! Show your support by going to http://bitly.com/DiversAble and place an order for yourself or for a DiversAble Model. Comment #TeamCoco when you order today.