Streak for Pediatric Stroke – Paying It Forward

Evie - Pediatric Stroke SurvivorPeople tell me how lucky Evie is that I am her mom. How lucky she is to have parents that push her and help her succeed. How lucky she is to be born into our support system of family and friends.

But that isn’t the case. I am the lucky one. Her dad and our family and friends – we are the lucky ones.

Pediatric Stroke Survivor on a Mission

Since the day this little girl was born she has been on a mission. Her diagnosis at six months old of right-side hemiplegia due to in utero stroke made that mission clear to the rest of us, but she was already well on her way. Her spirit and determination are evident in everything she does. I have never, ever, ever in her entire life (all 4.5 years) heard her say “I can’t do that.” She may not do it the way you and I would, but she gets it done – and she does it all with a smile and pure joy for life. She loves everything about being on this earth and you can’t feel sorry for someone that lives her life that way.

So what has she taught us all on this little mission of hers? She has taught us that believing in yourself and believing in others is the most powerful gift you can give yourself or someone else. That gift can take you places you never imagined you could go and lead you to accomplishments beyond what is expected.

I believe in Evie. She believes in herself. And even better? She believes in me. Now you can see why I’m the lucky one?

Paying it Forward

So what am I doing for my Streak for Pediatric Stroke this year? I’ve decided that I am going to pay forward what my little one has given to me. I am going to “believe” in something or someone everyday for 31 days. I imagine this will take many different forms – praising those who are doing well, encouraging those who are going through a difficult time, expressing what people mean to me…. But I’m going to find creative ways to get it done (with a smile!).

Today? Well, I think you can see above who I believe in today. I believe in Evie. I believe her mission is far from over and she is going to do big things. And I believe she will continue to change my life.

Jana Smoot White is Evie’s mom and the President of the Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association.