Trisomy 17 Awarenss day, featuring Fiona, with Partial Trisomy 17!
Fiona was born July 8, 2002. After 9 long months of bed rest due to a nearly complete placental abruption, we knew she was our miracle child. She was born healthy and strong and we named her Fiona “Grace” because we have her by the grace of God.
Fiona’s infancy was typical and she was a good baby! We began testing for her when she was almost two years old and not yet walking or intelligibly talking. When Fiona was over 3 we got her diagnosis of partial Trisomy 17 (p arm, 13.1-13.3 duplication). Geneticists told us they just didn’t know if she would ever walk or talk. Within a month after that diagnosis, Fiona took her first steps. After her physical therapist recommended we teach her sign language to help her visually put speech together, Fiona just took off. She learned to sign very well and our precious girl that only screamed and babbled at us began to talk. When Fiona was five, she was released from physical therapy and she is now climbing easily to the top of any playground.
Fiona is now ten years old and is in an inclusion classroom in the third grade. She is hard to describe in words. She is pure joy. Fiona is honest and loving and fun and silly and very, very, very… LOUD. She loves shoes and fashion. She rides horses (hippotherapy), plays on a special needs baseball team, cheers with a special needs competition team, and is a Girl Scout. Fiona has never known a stranger. She introduces herself to everyone she meets (anywhere any day!), compliments them on their clothes or shoes, and asks them to be her friend. She hugs her classmates when she arrives at school every day. Fiona can read and write and just learned to tie her shoes. She loves to dance.
Our family is complete with Fiona. She is the our only girl and quite the princess. Her older brother Mitchell (12) adores and cares for her. Her younger brother, Luke (8), is in the same grade as her and is a great role model and playmate. And Fiona is so proud to now be big sister to Desmond (5 months) and even feeds him bottles for us and dances for him. My husband, Don, and I are so blessed to have Fiona.