The narrative of Brenna is one of conquering any hurdles and a reminder of how unconditional a parent’s love is.
Some parents out there give up on their children simply because they are different.
That is why we must bring inspirational stories to people’s attention, stories in which parents and children demonstrate that no task is too great as long as you work together.
It’s also a valuable lesson for everyone who has ever evaluated someone based on their appearance.
Courtney and Evan Westlake were living happily with their son Connor when they found out Courtney was pregnant again.
Of course, the couple was overjoyed to learn that their family would grow.
They were looking forward to their first ultrasound like any other pregnant parent.
Every time they left the hospital, the physicians assured them their growing child was in good hands.
Courtney and Evan discovered they were having a girl a few months into their pregnancy: Connor would have a little sister!
The couple was pleased and began to fantasise about what a little girl would bring to their household.
“I’ll have to learn to braid hair now,” dad Evan said.
The big day arrived just weeks before New Year’s Eve. The baby girl was delivered, but the couple’s hopes to introduce her to her new home were shattered.
Brenna, their daughter, was born with thick white scales. She wasn’t moving, had an unusually high body temperature, and was covered in sores all over her body.
Brenna needs emergency intensive care, or she will perish.
Courtney and Evan could only hold their daughter for the first time two weeks after she was born.
Brenna was born with a terrible inherited illness called Harlequin ichthyosis, which they discovered. Brenna’s body produces skin ten times too quickly due to the condition.
It produces redness all over her body and irritation to her eyes, lips, nose, and ears.
The condition is incurable and frequently lethal.
With all the physical obstacles that come with Harlekin ichthyosis, the parents realised they were in for a long journey.
When Courtney is out with Brenna, she frequently encounters individuals who point, make loud comments, or ask offensive questions.
It saddens her. She understands that children are drawn to Brenna because of her unusual features.
What irritates Courtney the most are the reactions she receives from many parents. When parents see Brenna, they take their children away from her and instruct them to be quiet when they get close to her.
Courtney would prefer her parents approach her and Brenna rather than look away and leave the playground.
On the other hand, Brenna is a proud, confident little girl who refuses to let anyone knock her down. She believes in herself because of her family’s encouragement.
Especially from big brother Connor, who adores his younger sister.
“Why do parents avoid interacting with persons who seem different?
What are they scared of? “They might easily approach me and ask how old Brenna is,” Courtney says, adding:
“Why can’t they just be honest and say, ‘I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter how we look,’ when their youngster asks why Brenna is so red and swollen? “Aren’t we all unique?”
Despite their difficult days, Evan, Courtney, and Connor are right to be proud of their little fighter.
Dad Evan bathes his daughter every evening, which must be done carefully and meticulously every day.
The same man who was joking about braiding her daughter’s hair now gently but methodically massaged her with a cloth to remove scaly skin.
Brenna’s illness also means she doesn’t have much hair, but her father carefully combs the hair she does have every day.
Brenna is, in most respects, like any other child. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially playing and listening to bedtime stories with her father and big brother.
Brenna’s parents are sure she can do whatever she wants in life, even though things have yet to go precisely as planned.
Courtney now writes about her family’s life on her blog, Blessed by Brenna, and has authored a book, A Different Beautiful, which was released in August 2016.
The family believes that their honest and heartfelt story will help others understand and accept people who are different.
And isn’t Brenna lovely just the way she is?
Please share Brenna’s inspiring story to assist her and her family raise awareness of her disease.
We can work together to ensure that all children have a pleasant, prejudice-free childhood.