‘My Daughter is My Motivation’
It is said that the energy between identical twins is so strong that pain and joy felt by one can, be felt by the other. The same can be said about a mother and her child as several continue to attest to this.
Barbara Witter, a mother of two, was just as excited about her second child as she was her first. She did all she needed to do to have a safe delivery and a healthy baby, though her condition stood tall in her mind.
"I had fibroids when I was pregnant, and it was very bad. When I gave birth to Kimora, enough oxygen didn't go to her brain and I knew there could be a possible problem down the line."
At the age of two, Witter became very much worried that Kimora's drooling persisted and several other skills a two-year-old should develop were delayed.
"The paediatrician kept telling me that I shouldn't worry and things would change eventually. I explained to her that Kimora is slow in everything and something is just not right. She then referred me to a neurologist who, after an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), told me there was irreparable damage to the brain and made a diagnosis of corpus callosum hypoplasia with septo optic dysplasia syndrome."
She continued, "To this day, I am still confused about the condition. When the doctor sat there explaining to me - separate and apart from the medical terms I did not get - I just sat staring in space because I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I know the condition causes her speech impairment and her vision problem, as she can only see properly from one eye and sees only from a side view with the other eye."
Now seven years old, Kimora knows she has a condition and embraces it, trying to make every day count.
"I feel everything she feels: her joys, her sorrow, and we are each other's motivation. Some days she motivates me more. When she sees that I am down, she will just come and kiss me and say, 'Mommy, I love you', and it just warms my heart. I know sometimes she doesn't like to talk around others because of her speech impairment. Other children may laugh even when she tries to say her name. I just tell her that if she has a problem saying things fully, say it simpler, so if you can't say Kimora, say Kimmy.
"Some of our best times are mommy-daughter games and dress-up sessions. She loves girly things and her pockets are always filled with lip gloss and make-up. It makes her happy, and when she's happy, I'm happy," Witter stated laughingly.
Having started school at three years old, Witter feels Kimora is at a place conducive to her development.
"She has great potential and, though her situation may not change, I believe she can still do great things. Seeing other children around her doing well pushes her. She says that in the future she wants to be a paediatrician to help other children. She is persistent and doesn't stop doing something until it is perfect. I just want her to be happy and to be able to fit in a little more."
She ended: "I'm not going to give up on her, and neither should any parent who has a child with a challenge. Love them, because if you don't, no one else will."