My name is Angela Klusener I’m married to Leon Klusener, we live in Dundee KZN. We have a daughter that is almost 7 and Kieran our son who will be in 4 in January and too many pets.
When did you become a mom for the first time?
After many years of struggling and after five years of marriage we had our first born Kaylee in 2012.
So Leon and I were together for 15 before our first born.
When did you find out your child’s diagnosis?
Kieran was born in January 2016 and we found out about him being born with Down Syndrome in May 2016 when he was 5 months old. I still remember everyone of my gynae appointments in JHB and how I was told because of this this and that I definitely don’t have a Down Syndrome child. When he was born his apgar scores where all high and there was no indication of his diagnosis. Only when we took him for his inoculations and monthly check ups did the nurse notice that his development was not normal.
We then went to a Pediatrician where it was confirmed that Kieran has Trisomy 21. I will never forget the day. I thought it was the worst thing ever – Today I know that if I ever wondered if there is a God I just have to think of Kieran. God knows everyone of us and Leon and I both know that if we knew of Kieran’s diagnosis before he was born, without a doubt we would not of had him. I feel so embarrassed to repeat that, but it’s true.
Today we could not think of life without him. He is the spunk in our life. And God has used him to make me whole.
What is the hardest part about being a mom of a child born with Down Syndrome?
It’s hard for me to think how Kieran may be teased and bullied.
It’s going to be heart breaking for me if/when Kieran gets exposed to main stream school and we realize that he can’t keep up with other kids.
What do you do just for you?
Once a year us Girls go for a long weekend to Cape Town and have delicious meals & wines at fancy restaurants that you would never be able to go to with kids.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
I love cooking – not always deciding what to cook but when I know what I’m cooking I love my kitchen and love cooking for my family.
If you had to pick the soundtrack for your life what would it be?
Not sure about this one.
What is the kindest thing that someone has ever done for you?
It was not the nicest thing that Gabi (the nurse that suggested I see a Pediatrician about a developmental problem with Kieran) had to tell me but the love and compassion that she approached the situation with was the kindest thing for me.
What does Down Syndrome Awareness Month mean to you?
It just reminds me how fortunate I am and makes me think of what I can do for others to make the difficulties a little easier. Last year I did 21 acts of kindness where I tried to get everyone to spread a little bit of kindness.
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 not change anything for Kieran I love him exactly like he is. He is very fortunate that we are in a position to do the best we can for him. I wish that all the extras that are needed where that much more affordable for all other families with Down Syndrome children. I feel guilty with all that we have been able to provide to Kieran and that everyone else can’t also have the same opportunity.