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A teenager with a large smile

Anya has an active social life, a shopping addiction, a large smile and a teenager’s petulant attitude.

While that may sound like a teenager you know, Anya has been through multiple hospital stays and several surgeries. She is tube fed, non-verbal and many people have spent a lot of time keeping her alive.

Anya was pre-mature at 27 weeks, weighing 1 pound 10.2 ounces. “I was a young mom of 23 and we were both sick when my daughter was born,” said Natalie. “I don’t know where we would be without Rainbows. They’ve given her a community, apart from home, where she is empowered, has confidence, and is herself.”

Natalie remembers, in the early days of Anya’s life, summoning her courage to ask a Rainbows’ therapist if her daughter would ever walk and getting a realistic, yet encouraging answer, “Yes, she will walk, but maybe not in the way you are thinking.” This was a life changing moment for Natalie. She still thinks about that day when making decisions about Anya’s future.

“I am Anya’s voice and advocate. I know it means so much for her to be mobile and walk on her own,” says Natalie, who is thinking about Anya’s future transition into adult services.

You can help families thrive with your gift to Rainbows’ Annual Campaign.