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My Unexpected Journey: Raising Two Girls With Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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In 2013, I accepted a position to teach college English in China. I moved my then-12-year-old son halfway around the world on a temporary, fun adventure.

Just weeks after arriving, I began volunteering at an orphanage and my heart quickly started to connect to the children I was taking care of – one in particular, Laila, changed my life.

Laila was beautiful. She was 16 months old, and I immediately noticed something special about her. The other kids around her appeared unaware of the meager conditions at the orphanage, while Laila seemed distressed by them.

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