I recently learned of Anaya's story, which was shared with me by Michelle Cloney of LeBibble. After learning Anaya's story I just had to share it from the eyes of her amazing and courageous mother. Please keep Anaya in your thoughts and prayers and share her story with all of your friends and family. It's an important message.
Our Story about “Healing Anaya- Healing Humanity”
Written August 14, 2011 by Anaya’s Mama. Camara Cassin
Her golden hair sparkles in the sunshine. I bring my lips to her forehead and kiss her soft delicate skin. Inhaling her sweet baby smell, my heart melts and my whole body tingles with the energy of mama love. Touching her hair with my fingertips I wonder at the little curls that spring up behind her perfect little ears. I enfold her in my arms, and lay down beside her. Just to be with her. To enjoy every second of her. She is dying.
On this day in 2009 I started having contractions. Gut wrenching, make my legs shake contractions. Inside my womb was a beautiful, healthy baby girl. She was rambunctious and strong, kicking and stretching. She’d push her little foot against the side of my tummy until you could actually see it. Brent and I had already chosen a name for her. Anaya. It means “God’s Answer” or “Completely Free”.
We could never have known what the next two years would bring us. Anaya entered the world on August 26. She was completely whole and perfect. Her apgars were normal, she squalled and waved her little fists about. She nursed well and I took her home the next day. For months everything was wonderful. She had the most beautiful little smile, and would even mimic my sounds when I would coo at her. She’d laugh. I’d melt.
At four months the nightmare began. She cried and was irritable all the time. She started choking at the breast. We took her to emergency. We were directed to the children’s hospital. After weeks of intensive tests we were told that our baby Anaya’s myelin was disappearing from her brain, and her nerves. That she would lose all of her abilities. That we should take her home to die. We left the hospital and drove home on Valentine’s day.
We tried everything. Naturopathy, Chinese Medicine, Conventional Medicine, Herbs, Homeopathy, Brain Gym, Faith Healers. She continued to get worse. I remember the last time she looked at me and smiled. We were on the couch. I was cuddling her. She looked right into my eyes, into my soul, and she smiled the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. Her hazel green and brown eyes seemed to have incredible love and wisdom in them. I was entranced and stared at her until she looked away. That night she lost her sight, and her smile.
Anaya never sat up, never learned to crawl, and never said the word “mama” – but I’ve heard it in my heart. She has become my teacher. My mentor. She is God’s Answer in my life. I needed to learn about compassion. I needed to learn patience. I needed to learn what the meaning of life was. All my life I wanted answers. I wanted to know why I was so different from everyone else I had met. Why it seemed as though humanity had started to lose their sense of self. Why I did not have a sense of self and a feeling of purpose. I started writing an online blog about my life with Anaya, sharing the ups and downs, the joys and the hurts. People read it and understood. I expressed my heart explicitly and found support and love.
Anaya became known nationally in Canada as the “Breast milk Baby”, as she could not tolerate formula and was now tube-fed. I pumped for 10 months but was unable to produce enough to feed her. Almost a hundred women from across Canada shipped us their frozen milk, and it is still her main staple food at 23.5 months. Anaya has supporters all over the world who think of her with love. She has taught so many people, through me, about finding the true joys in life and living in the moment.
Right now Anaya has bi-lobe pneumonia. We were discharged on Wednesday from the hospital. The doctor said there was nothing they could do, unless we wanted to put her on more intensive life supports. We had always promised Anaya, and ourselves, that we would never do that to her. When it is her time to go, we will let her graduate from this life with dignity, respect and love. We will hold her close in our arms, in the comfort of our home and celebrate all the joy she has brought us and the lessons she has shared. So we took her home. It upset my nurse, she disagreed with our choice. After an emotional argument she quit, and my nursing agency withdrew nursing support from our home.
These past few days have been rough. Anaya needs care 24 hours a day. I need to stay with her. I promised my baby that I would be there to hold her when…she flies to heaven. I still pray and hope for a miracle. That she will overcome the pneumonia. That she will regain her eyesight. That one day I will see her smile and hear the word “Mama.” I have faith, it is possible. Anaya will turn two in 12 days.
I’ve asked people touched by Anaya’s life to help us through this time financially by subscribing to my blog or making a donation. I ask you, please, read it. Anaya’s lessons will touch your heart and inspire your soul.
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