My name is Nancy and I live in Manchester NH. I am a mother. I am a waitress. I am strong and I am an activist. I have used my life experiences as motivation to speak out about what I believe in.
In April of 2012, I gave birth to my first son Hunter. He was already a fighter weighing in at 2 lb 10 oz. Due to a genetic condition called microtia, Hunter was born with severe hearing loss. Later he would also be diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech.
Much like every parent who receives a diagnosis for their child the first feeling that consumes your body is fear. What can I do to give my son every opportunity possible to succeed? Hunter received early intervention services, but he was one of thousands of babies receiving the bare minimum of services - not enough to allwo him to overcome his challenges. All of this was due to lack of funding.
I am a mother and like many other mothers I do not take no for an answer. After months of work, I was finally able to find the support that Hunter could truly needed. However, we as mothers should not have to fight this hard for our children to receive the services that they need. While some resources are available, often it's not enough and our babies deserve more.
This experience has motivated me to advocate for all mothers who have ever felt the frustrations and fears that I felt. After meeting with legislators and telling my story, a bill was put forward to increase the funding for Early Supports and Services in NH - our voices matter!
Our lives are complex and in June of 2015, my second son Sawyer came into this world. I never imagined delivering at 24 weeks . I'm young and I'm healthy and I had no reason in thinking that I wouldn't be able to carry to term. My tiny angel was too premature for intubation. Unable to hear a tiny cry, my husband Mike and I held our son until he took his final breath.
Emotions were high and just days later Mike went in for unplanned hernia surgery. We always thought we could handle things on our own but being out of work far earlier than expected followed by Mike's surgery left us both unable to work and struggling financially.
I am a waitress - and I did not have any benefits, let alone paid family leave.
I will say, that throughout all of this I had an amazing group of women in my life. They supported me, lifted me up when I was down, laughed until our stomachs hurt and even held my hand as I cried hysterically. These women play a huge part of the reason why I am here today. What may seem like a simple act of friendship can change the life to the person you are giving it to.
We are never alone. We are strong and brave as individuals but together we can be a formidable opponent to make positive change happen.
Fear can lead to support which leads to motivation and motivation can lead to change. That support is key. When we think we are at our weakest of moments more often than not they are really our strongest.