The Shyann Kindness Project
Micro Import Service is a proud supporter & volunteer of The Shyann Kindness Project. For those of you not aware of this incredible non-profit organization, let me start by telling you about Shyann.
Shyann was born at 27 weeks with Listeria Meningitis, weighing only 2.4 pounds, and not expected to live. Shyann’s many diagnoses included Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Hydrocephalus (necessitating three shunts), Seizure disorder, Gastro Intestinal Reflux Disease (GERD), a swallow disorder (necessitating a G-tube), and Global Developmental Delays. Through it all, she had a smile that could light up a room!
During Christmas dinner in 2004, Shyann had a seizure, which she recovered from that evening. This was unusual for her since medications had been controlling her seizures. The next day, realizing she was still not completely herself, we took her to the emergency room. Later that night, she underwent an emergency shunt revision, with two more surgeries following in the same week. The surgeries were not successful, and on January 4, 2005, our Special Angel Shyann went home to be with the Lord.
The following was written as a way of gaining acceptance for Shyann at school by taking the “mystique” out of her disabilities. It was originally read to her Kindergarten class, and then changed slightly to this version which was read to her First Grade class on the first day of school, as if she were the one speaking to the class.
Hi! Some of you are already my friends, but for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Shyann, and I want to tell you about myself.
I was born 13 weeks early and was very, very sick. Because of that, my brain was hurt. That makes it really hard for me to learn to do some of the things that you can already do.
Right now I’m in a wheelchair because I can’t walk. It took me a really long time to be able to stand, but now I can do that with some help. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to walk, but I sure am working hard at trying to learn.
I love to have people talk with me, and even though I can’t use my voice, I use my communication device to say things. I just got a new “talker” and I need to learn how to use it to say all the things I’d like to say on my own. Please be patient with me while I learn to use it. And you know, even though I look small, I’m 7 years old and understand what you say to me, so please don’t use “baby talk.”
Because the muscles that help me swallow aren’t very strong, I could get very sick if I ate through my mouth. Instead, I eat through a button in my tummy. I have a special feeding machine that helps me eat. My button doesn’t hurt, and it doesn’t hurt me when someone gives me water or hooks me up to the feeding machine. It’s just the way I eat.
I get really warm, even when it might not seem so warm to you. That’s why I always have a fan on, even when I’m in my wheelchair. If I get too warm, my cheeks get really red and it makes me fall asleep. At my house, sometimes it’s so cold that my Mom has to wear a little jacket around the house! That’s the way I like it!!
I have to tell you, sometimes I can be pretty stubborn! If you’re trying to get me to do something, it may not mean that I can’t do it, just that I don’t want to!! So please, don’t give up on me!
I have a habit of putting my fingers in my mouth, but I’m really trying hard to stop. If you see me with them in my mouth, please give me a gentle reminder to take them out!
I love to have friends talk to me and play with me, but sometimes if too many are around me at one time, I may get a little upset. I usually don’t mind if someone touches my arm, but sometimes my arms feel a little funny when they’re touched, so if I pull my arm away when your touching me, that’s why.
I love listening to music, having someone sing to me, playing with my toys, watching videos, going to the movies, going in the pool, birthday parties, going to the mall, listening to stories, going to school, and lots of the same things you do. We may be different in some ways, but in a lot of ways, I’m just like you and I hope we can be good friends!
The result was Shyann having many friends in school, with them all considering it a special treat to be chosen as the one to push her in her wheelchair!
The mission of The Shyann Kindness Project is to pass on kindness by educating, supporting and encouraging children in stressful economic, social and medical situations.
The Shyann Kindness Project is a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has served 11,665 children since April 2006 (as of 6/2/12).
You can help by volunteering your time, or donating items such as toys, backpacks, books, dental items, craft items, stuffed animals, snacks and the list goes on.
Check out the website at www.shyannkindness.org for more information.
You can also drop donations off at Micro Import Service as well.