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Parent24 chats to Thandi
A mom shares her story of struggle, loss and hope.

Note: A Parent24 reader wrote to us to tell us her story in the hope that it would be an encouragement to other readers. It is an extremely emotional experience which she writes of, and yet it is full of triumph, too. Here is Thandi’s story:

“My name is Thandi and I am a parent to three beautiful children. I am now a mother of two but will always be a mother of three. I gave birth to a beautiful boy on the 23rd of May 2000 at exactly 11h23am in Medforum Pretoria (He turned 12 on Wednesday). A few weeks later, it turned out that my son was suffering from some kind of disease called Mafucci Syndrome which affects development of a child (especially bones).

The learning curve

I spent a lot of time reading books, moving from one specialist to the other until I went down my knees and asked God to show me the way.
When he turned two, God sent an angel in the form of his paediatrician, Dr. Muwazi , and she recommended a nursery school for my son which worked miraculously for his development. We still went through different tests and therapists. Finally I decided to give my son more of my time rather than just being there when he was put under lights of radiography or being pierced with needles to draw blood. He turned out to be a very good jolly person who would always smile to everyone he met and his speech started to improve at 3. He was always eager to do things that were beyond his ability.
A tragic development

I was sometimes very frustrated but never showed that to him: I would rather do everything and give up all the time I could but as soon as I get a chance to be alone, that is when reality would catch up with me. We continued to give him the best as parents but just when we thought he was making good progress, he was hit by a terrible disease called Leukaemia and a week after we were told about it, he succumbed.

May his soul rest in peace- I will never forget to treasure all the experiences of life that I went through with him. Today I thank God for creating a strong parent out of me and I am raising my son and daughter like I would have done with their brother.
You can embrace difficulties and overcome disabilities

That is my story and I would like to encourage all mothers out there with children that have different disabilities, embrace it because it is the best thing that you can do for your child. Never make them feel different from other kids because of what they are, rather concentrate on who they are: Angels sent with love from God.”

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Do you know anyone who is dealing with a chronically-ill child, or grieving? How would you encourage them?

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