TAMAR Stanford and her husband tried for six years to have their son, Zacharia – a ‘‘little blessing’’, who was born with a number of health issues.
The ups and downs of the family’s story, particularly through Mrs Stanford’s eyes, will be part of a special International Women’s Day event next Wednesday.
Nearly a year ago, the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre, in partnership with Shellharbour City Council and Wollongong City Council’s Living Library, held an event to celebrate International Women’s Day. It was hoped that this day would be the beginning of the Shellharbour area creating its own living library.
A year on, this dream has started to come to fruition and to mark International Women’s Day, the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre and Shellharbour City Council will hold another Living Library event.
It will be on Wednesday, March 6, from 9am-1pm.
This time the theme is Celebrating Women’s Stories of Spirit and Determination.
“Stories that reflect the resilience, strength and determination of Illawarra women,” Illawarra Women’s Health Centre health promotion officer Samantha Karmel said.
“What’s more, many of these women are the original members of our own Shellharbour Living Library.”
Zacharia was born with a soft palate, which was fixed through surgery at six months.
He was later diagnosed with a heart murmur.
“He is my little blessing – my husband and I had given up hope of having a child but after more than six years of trying we found out we were having him,” Mrs Stanford said.
“We then found out he had Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) or 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, which is a genetic syndrome and is often known as an invisible disability, where someone looks normal but has a disability.
“I cried for three weeks, but have found a lot of consolation out of writing down my thoughts and publishing them in an online blog, liontamar.wordpress.com.”
Mrs Stanford said her blog on Zac is a release.
“Zac is now seven, attends a special class at Albion Park Public School and we are getting on with life the best we can – he is a wonderful little boy,” she said.
Bookings for the upcoming Living Library event are essential. For more information and to reserve a place contact the centre at Belfast Avenue, Warilla or alternatively ring 4255 6800.