How my kids taught me about self-acceptance

Born with cleft lip and palate herself, Gail Brazeau worried her kids would face the same challenges she did

When my daughter Adrian had to miss a week of third grade for a surgery related to her cleft lip and palate, she wanted to put together a slide show for her classmates so they knew her story.

“When I was growing in my mom’s belly, my lip did not grow together like yours did.  Neither did the roof of my mouth,” it begins.

Her baby picture was included too, which shows the stitches and bandages around her mouth and nose after her first surgery as a baby when doctors fixed her lip so it was easier to eat.

Continue reading

Who can you trust in the vaccine debate?

Politicians and celebrities vs. facts in the vaccine debate

vaccine trustVaccines are in the news again.

It’s not new, this “news.” It’s actually the same story – hashed and rehashed, depending on which celebrity or politician or spokesperson is given the megaphone.

Who is in the news talking about vaccines may change from day to day, but one thing has not.

Continue reading

Our cancer journey started with a sport physical

A routine check-up turned into a cancer diagnosis for our 13-year old daughter

BlockOutCancerLast year as my daughter, Kailyn, was starting eighth grade, she decided she wanted to play volleyball. She needed a physical to try out, so I took her to a local urgent care center for a basic sport physical. Because she had been diagnosed with a heart murmur when she was much younger, the doctor at the urgent care center would not give her permission to play and referred us to our pediatrician.

Luckily, her pediatrician was able to see her on a Saturday so she could get that sport physical done in time for tryouts. The appointment turned serious when the doctor started pushing on Kailyn’s stomach. She felt something hard and thought it might be her bowels. He told me to give her Metamucil and follow up on Monday for an ultrasound. On Monday, Kailyn called me from school to say that her stomach hurt. I took her straight to the ER.

Continue reading

5 surprising things about big kids and car seats

Car seat safety not just a "baby" issue

is my child ready for a booster seatWhile most new parents are very focused on properly installing and using infant car seats, that same diligence tapers off as their children move on to forward-facing car seats and booster seats.

Here are five things about car seats and safety that may surprise you.

Continue reading