I am Cheryl, I turned the big 40 this year. My family consists of mine, yours and ours between my husband and I, we have 4 girls aged 23, 18, 8, 6 and the last 2 we have together. We also have a little grand daughter who is 1.5 years.

When did you become a mom for the first time?

I’ve always had a dream of having a baby at age of 22 and that came true now my girl is going to be 18 in a few months its so hard to believe.

When did you find out your child’s diagnosis?

When i had my blood tests done at 16 weeks it came back that i was high risk for DS and was told to go to and have an amnio. However i chose not to because of the risk of miscarriage and also i was going to keep her no matter what the outcome. Everything was all clear after that but at 35 weeks at a prenatal check up she was flat lining and the dr said she had to be taken out. It was that night that the dr told me she suspects she has DS. I knew nothing about it i cried and i prayed. I thought of the worst possibilities, however through a kind nurse she explained things to me and gave me hope a week later after birth it was confirmed Mireya had DS.

What is the hardest part about being a mom of a child born with Down Syndrome?

The hardest part for me is seeing my friends kids born in the same year as Mireya attending school and it always makes me wonder what if things had been different. I know she will do the same things one day but sometimes it still hurts inside.

What do you do just for you?
Honestly nothing comes to mind if i go to shops i end up with things for my kids, its been more than a year since i bought myself anything.

Favorite guilty pleasure?

A glasss of wine and a good book.

If you had to pick the soundtrack for your life what would it be?

Living on a prayer –    Bon jovi

What is the kindest thing that someone has ever done for you?

Recently i was chatting to a friend and telling her i feel i have no break in life its hard to find a job and i’m always doing things for kids and sometimes i don’ t even have 5 mins to myself..when i woke up in the morning i see a cash send of R500 and a message from her telling me to spoil myself and the girls. Of course more went to the girls.

What does Down Syndrome Awareness Month mean to you?

Well I’ve embarked on teaching as many people as possible about Down syndrome throughout the year, in Oct I try to get as many friends and family members to participate in the awareness.

If you could change one thing in the world to make it an easier and better place for your child, what would it be?

I would like to change peoples mind set that it’s not something us as parents have done that was bad. This is not a punishment. I believe these kids are sent to change the world. For me its has taught me patience, because i am very impatient. I would want everyone to treat her like any other child with extra patience, i’m blessed because even the kids in my family and my friends kids don’t see anything different in Mireya.

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