SWEET SIX YEAR OLD SMILES

When I first met Aaliyah, all I could think was of how much she reminded me of Moana. She is such a brave young girl, who was only a little bit shy when we first met. Aaliyah has the most loving relationship with her sister and her parents. Her sister gave her the sweetest hugs and looked at her in a way where you can just tell that they are closer than the average siblings. Aaliyah continues to inspire me, and I feel so lucky to have been able to spend time with her and her family.

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Aaliyah was diagnosed with a “Craniopharyngioma”, a rare brain tumor that grows in the fold between the left and right side of the brain. Aaliyah was 2 years old when she was diagnosed. She is now 6 years old. 
— DeAnna, Aaliyah's mother
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We have dealt with her diagnosis by sticking together and supporting each other when we get down. Aaliyah has had the most difficult weight to carry, and has become an inspiration to all of us! Her strength and positivity is incredibly astounding to us all!
— DeAnna
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Aaliyah has no pituitary function, has diabetes insipidus, and is blind in her right eye. With that she takes medications to replace her hormones, and she wears glasses to help her eyesight. She is happy and still has good health and great motor skills function!
— DeAnna
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Whatever you do, don’t shut people out. We didn’t want our problems publicized, but it gave us a lot of relief. And we found that it made our friends/family feel good to be able to help and be involved. So don’t be shy to break outside your comfort zone and accept help. Without the help we got, I don’t know if we would have been able to make it through the really hard times.
— DeAnna
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