Next Stop: Kindergarten

What a year for Katherine and our family. This has been a year full of change, including a new community, a new home, and a new school.

Last August I dropped her off for her first day of school and she never looked back. Not once.

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We made six trips to Bethesda, Maryland to the NIH for her clinical trial.

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She had one or more therapies a day, which included early Monday mornings before school and Wednesday afternoons away from school. She even conquered her fear of water in Aqua Therapy (swim lessons this summer).

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She took her first independent steps and continues to grow stronger daily.

She made a special trip to the beach with our dear friends.

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She made new friends and ate a lot of cupcakes.

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She did all the things I always hoped she would do, but feared would never happen. And she did things I never imagined my child would ever have to endure, but she did them all with a brave face, a good disposition, and a maturity beyond her years.

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Katherine is only four, but she has been through a lot, from hospitalizations, to medical testing, to constant therapies, and coming to terms with her own disability and disease. She is a tough child. She’ll be the first to tell you that she’s never sick or tired. She isn’t afraid of life or her challenges. I watch her fall down at least 25 times a day…and get right back up 26 times.

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At the end of the day, though, I constantly remind myself that she’s just four (almost 5) and really needs time to sit back, relax, and enjoy doing nothing but being a kid.

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As this school year comes to a close, I  want to take this opportunity to say thank you to Katherine’s teachers at Model Laboratory School. We are beyond blessed with teachers who understand her challenges, yet see her potential; understand that not all students learn the same way and encourage her to express true self; listen to our concerns and help in any way they can; and creatively find ways to help her learn and measure her understanding – all with love, patience, and a true enjoyment for their profession. Thank you, Ms. James, Mrs. Ballard, and Mrs. White. Thank you to all of her teachers and therapists. She loves you, emulates you, and says she wants to be you when she grows up.

Thank you for setting such a great example for her to follow. We will miss you very much. We admire you and thank you for giving her a strong foundation for her love of learning.

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