• By admin
  • 09 Jun, 2017

Have you ever been amazed thousands of time by the same person or the same thing in life? I never thought that was possible… Grace proved me wrong. Everyday she amazes me with the gift of life and reminds me how blessed I am to have the privileged of being her momma. In less than 48 hours Grace will walk across the stage at her high school graduation and for our family, it will be yet another milestone and memory in our lives that we were told we would never see.

18 years ago I gave birth to my second daughter and in my world I thought my family was complete as now my daughter Lily had a sister and I was so excited for our life and for their lives to begin. In the months to follow, I would find that dream that I had for my daughters was not going to be so easy, nor was our life as a family, and unfortunately like a large percentage of families with special needs children, my marriage ended in divorce.

Through all of ups and downs, the anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, desperateness, despair… there was always one thing that kept me going to find the answers I needed to save my daughter and that was my daughter’s love for life.

Grace didn’t just overcome obstacles in her life, she truly defied the odds. She made scientists and researchers take notice, she moved physicians to think twice before shattering a families life by telling them they have no hope. Grace moved law makers to question the possibility that maybe our kids deserve a fighting chance and she proved without a shadow of a doubt to the courts that hyperbaric oxygen is a therapy worth trying.

Grace defied all the odds and her reflections in life are nothing short than amazing. When Grace walks across that stage on Saturday, June 10th, I will be remembering this!

A once blind little girl showed us that you don’t need to see in order to understand the unknown, it still amazes me when I look in her eyes that she is looking right back at me. In her young life of 18 years, she fought hard for everything in life and I am a better mom because she pushed me to not feel sorry for myself and to fight like she does. Grace is tough. She fought hard to walk and to get out of her wheelchair and now she walks on a tred mill at 3.5 mph and can go a mile or more. she swims, she bikes and she gets around on her own. A G tube fed kiddo until age 7 is now eating on own and believe me she eats like a little piglet. A child who once took 42 medications is now on 4 medications. A child who was told she would never understand anything now understands what is important in her life and who is important in her life. Grace is truly a gift and I am so blessed to be part of her life and to walk beside her on her journey.

I wish I could express how I feel right now in these words but no words can come close to the feelings I have right now inside me or how I will feel this Saturday.

Grace is a true testament that things are possible and that as people we can defy the odds stacked against us if we believe we can. I know that many of you tell me that it was my determination and dedication to her that got her to this point , but was it really ? for me I look at it like a child learning to ride a bike, as parents we bought them the bike, sure and we teach them what to do but they had to let go and ride the bike without us being there. Grace wouldn’t be here if she didn’t have the will to be and that is what keeps me going when I am having a bad day. Life is so precious and so fragile and should never ever be taken for granted. I know that because she taught me that – she taught me that life is beautiful even in the storms and that together we can accomplish anything.

When I reflect on the past 18 years, I look at it through my daughter’s eyes and everything is as it should be.

I can’t wait until Saturday, when she is in her cap and gown and she walks the stage… my cup runneth over!

Don’t forget to celebrate life everyday and not just on special occasions. Remember to tell those you love that you love them and never ever give up on hope because if you have hope then anything is possible.

3 thoughts on “Reflections of Grace”

  1. Shannon, this brought tears to my eyes as I feel so amazed and grateful for your Journey with Lily and Grace. You’ve been an inspiration for me and I am so proud of you and so happy for all of you
    I look forward to seeing you soon. I wish I could be there for graces graduation.
    Avery and George and I are sending all our love and very best wishes ❤️❤️❤️

  2. What a blessing – what a journey! From what we can understand our boy Adrian was born with the same condition or very similar condition to Grace. Maybe his journey may have been different, if we had discovered & started HBOT when he was 3 years old, instead of when he was 13 yrs old. May you continue to know & experience God’s grace & comfort in the journey of caring for your precious family.

  3. My Mother, Gladys McNeil,and I certainly had the privilege in meeting Grace in October-November 2005. Mom visited Shsnnon’s Integrative Hyperbaric treatment center, for 40 chamber treatments. Dave, Shannon’s Dad was Mom’s expertly trained & creative chamber technician. Thank you, ALL there, for helping to save Mom’s leg, and to giving her 8 more years of quality life, 5 of those before use of a wheelchair! Mom went to Heaven in August 2013. Grace, we’re ecstatic for your physical progress, especially neurologically. Your life ia incredible!

Post a Reply
* Required



Kindness Goes A Long Way

Something happened last week that really made the “mama bear” in me come out and I feel like I have to say this out loud… I’m on here a lot to talk about hope and to tell Grace’s story, but this past week I witnessed something amazing in my daughter, Lily, that ended in such disappointment for … Continue reading “Kindness Goes A Long Way”

07 Jul, 2016
A Place For Grace Update

Many of you are asking for updates on Grace so I thought I would take this  week’s blog and use it for an update. You know when you have someone in your life and they always seem to amaze you with their resilience? Well, that would pretty much sum up my daughter Grace and how … Continue reading “A Place For Grace Update”

27 Jul, 2016
Never Give Up Hope

I know I’ve been slacking on blogs recently and I wanted to shed some light on why… Thank you everyone for your prayers and continued support for Grace and our family. I would like 2017 to end or at least have a do over from January 1st on for Grace. Grace is now at home … Continue reading “Never Give Up Hope”

20 Jan, 2017
Everything Happens For A Reason

Because sometimes we all need to be reminded. I know lately I feel as though nothing I do is right or has meaning and I have let myself believe that. I am looking forward to 2018, but make a promise to make the rest of 2017 matter…

12 Oct, 2017
Holding On To Hope

This past weekend I picked the wrong day to go to Target to get the boring household items… toliet paper, detergent, you know, the not so fun things… In my defense totally forgot that its UW student move in this weekend for many reasons but the main one being my daughter Grace will not be going … Continue reading “Holding On To Hope”

28 Aug, 2017
Reflections of Grace

Have you ever been amazed thousands of time by the same person or the same thing in life? I never thought that was possible… Grace proved me wrong. Everyday she amazes me with the gift of life and reminds me how blessed I am to have the privileged of being her momma. In less than … Continue reading “Reflections of Grace”

09 Jun, 2017