Inspired by the Inspiring ... Body Image and Parkes-Weber Syndrome

It's been awhile since I've sat down to write.  It's been awhile since I've been inspired.  It's normal.  Bloggers get downtime too ... Not always when we expect it, but it happens.

My downtimes seem to come with good times.  Good times like recent times.  Times when we go for 6 a.m. swims, 7 a.m. tennis matches, 2 p.m. cuddles on the sofa for movie time.  Times when we're living healthy, eating well, laying off the booze, getting to bed early, stepping away from social media, living life to the fullest.  Good times.

Nothing's really inspired me to write lately.  Life's just been taken up by too many other moments.  But as a blogger, the 'desire' to write is always there.  I'm looking at everything for inspiration, jotting down notes, drafting a post in the notebook in my head.  Even if it doesn't always make it to the page.  

I just wait for a moment to make me go ''CLICK''.  And then I'll start writing.


Tonight I was inspired.  

My inspiration ... Isa-Bella Leclair

By my goddaughter.  By her ability to see the world through unfiltered lens.  By her ability to step outside her comfort zone to make the world more aware.  By her ability to smile.  By her unconquerable will and her boundless enthusiasm.  

I was inspired to tears.

You see, my niece (actually my cousin's daughter) Isa-Bella was born with Parkes-Weber Syndrome.  The extremely rare syndrome is characterised by venous malformations, cutaneous capillary malformations, and lymphatic malformations along with arteriovenous malformation.  

For the laymen amongst us (myself included), this means she was born with a very big right leg.  A leg that has way more veins, way more fluid, and way more complications than any leg should have ...  A leg that receives and pumps so much blood and fluid that it puts extreme strain on her heart.  A leg that is probably 3 times the size of her other leg.  And just in case you didn't get it the first time:  she has ONE very big leg.

One very big leg that means very LITTLE in the big scheme of things.  For you see, my goddaughter is an accomplished pianist, guitar player, snowboarder, hiker.  She's a pageant winner.  She's an artist.  She's a singer.  She's attending university, and has received significant bursaries to do so.  She's a survivor of pains that go beyond any physical impairment ... this young woman has overcome so much to stand where she stands right now.  

She is so much more than a big leg.  Shame on anyone who can't see beyond it.

She is strong.  She is brilliant.  She is beautiful.  She is talented.  She is loving.  She is brave.  She is humble.  She is caring.  She is proud of who she is.  She is happy with who she is.  She is amazing.

She is inspiring.

Beyond all this, she's the baby girl who used to pick imaginary flowers off my bedspread.  She's the toddler who told me to ''be careful with my pretty leg, the one that Jesus gave me'' when I put her into the bath.  She's the 3-year-old who danced merrily in her new red velvet dress at the Christmas party, knowing that everyone was focused on her and her smile, not on her leg.  

Who has time to worry about anything other than what Santa brought?

I'd rather play cards than talk about what makes me different, thank you very much ...


She's the young woman who was always happy to take a back seat and let others take the spotlight.  She's the young woman who's willing to put herself out there today to bring awareness to Parkes-Weber Syndrome.

I'm sharing her story with you, so that you may be inspired too.  Have a look at how she is trying to share her message of positive body image to young girls around the world.

Let yourself be inspired.