Loni was born on May 28, 2003; I was prepared to have a normal, happy and healthy baby girl. Throughout my routine doctor visits, everything was going well; mommy and baby were doing great, she was developing perfectly, at least that’s what we thought.
It wasn’t until after the delivery that the doctor discovered our baby’s condition. Loni was born with Choanal atresia, which is a congenital disorder where the back of the nasal passage (choana) is blocked, usually by abnormal bony or soft tissue (membranous) due to failed recanalization of the nasal fossae during fetal development, along with severe respiratory disorder and Chromosome 1 & 7 deletion, which made Loni, a child with Intellectual Disabilities.
I had no idea what that meant, we were clueless and scared, while seeing our angel fighting for her life. Loni, being a fighter, pulled through with the Divine power. She was able to come home within 3 weeks, with instructions and a car full of machines. Our lives would change forever.
Over the years Loni battled with Scoliosis and Cardiomyopathy, along with other health related issues. On May 11, 2015, 17 days before her 12th birthday, Loni’s sufferings would cease, there would be no more doctor visits, no more surgeries, and she would finally receive the rest she so desperately deserved.
Loni was a happy child throughout her entire life, she loved everyone. She was truly a gift from above. She saw the good in everyone she met. Loni changed my life; she became the teacher and I became the student. I realized God does not give Special Needs Children to special people; instead, He gives these children to families to whom He will show Himself special to.
I’m often reminded of a scripture, Deuteronomy 33:25 “As your days are, so shall your strength be.” To me, this means, “Your strength will always be equivalent to what you need. No matter the circumstances, or challenges faced, nor obstacles one has to climb, the strength to conquer, will be there.”
“Children Like Loni Foundation” is a non-profit, 501c3 Organization
We believe every child with Intellectual Disabilities and children facing adversities, should be able to receive on-going assistance, in the areas where families deficient with limited financial resources to afford life-skills training, physical and occupational therapy, after school programs, respite, and other recreational activities in the community.
Our organization is built on Faith and Work. We understand faith without work is dead, that is why Children Like Loni (CLL) works diligently each day to make sure we are able to provide assistance to every child with Intellectual Disabilities and children facing adversities. We stand bold and together when we say “We Matter Too.”