The Santorum family celebrates life:
Next week, we will mark Bella's second birthday. Over these two years, we have endured two close brushes with death, lots of sleepless nights, more than a month in CHOP's intensive care unit, and the constant anxiety that the next day could be our little girl's last.
And yet we have also been inspired - by her fighting spirit, and by the miracle of seeing our little flower blossom into a loving, joyful child who is at the center of our family life.
Most children with trisomy 18 diagnosed in the womb are aborted. Most who survive birth are given hospice care until they die. In these cases, doctors advise parents that these disabled children will die young or be a burden to them and society. But couldn't the same be said of many healthy children?
All children are a gift that comes with no guarantees. While Bella's life may not be long, and though she requires our constant care, she is worth every tear.
Living with Bella has been a course in character and virtue. She makes us better. And it's not just our family; she enriches every life she touches. In the end, isn't that what every parent hopes for his or her child?
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