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Tash - Cleveland, Ohio

Tash's Christmas photo

Tash was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1997, very early and tiny – but just perfect. She had a very special ‘little hand’ and left arm. We were so happy to have her safe and sound after a worrying pregnancy. However, not knowing what had caused her hand and arm and being advised that she might have had more extensive issues if her chest area was also effected we visited various doctors all over the world. At about 2 years old surgery was suggested to attach her toes and form two ‘fingers’, but we felt that she was doing really well and if surgery was an option it should be something Tash decided for herself when she’s older. She has worked hard over the years with occupational therapy and has an unstoppable spirit to overcome the physical challenges.

The hardest part for Tash is other peoples’ reactions and curiosity. She’s a really cool kid in so many ways, and her hand gets more attention than the small part of her it is deserves.
We moved to Cleveland, Ohio three years ago and Tash goes to a girls school here and launches herself in to everything, with the understanding and support of the faculty, from Velcro for her baseball mitt to a special recorder, she’s just part of the team. She’s also a keen guitarist and ice skater out of school and a tolerant big sister to Maya our 4 year old.”

If I had any advice for new parents of a child others see as different – take a deep breath and love your child for the individual that they are. Be honest with yourself, grieve, shake yourself off and grow a tough skin. Have on standby whatever professional help is available and adjust your own approach as your child grows. Be honest with your child but be appropriate to their age and emotional situation. Be the best advocate for them that you can be and always be hopeful.

It has been an incredible eight years with our fabulous daughter. If it were possible to change her hand, it would not be my choice to do so. She is compassionate, mature, and empathetic beyond her years and growing into a beautiful young person.

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