Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gratitude Giveaway Round Two Winner!

We'd like to thank you all once again, for sharing your stories with us about the beautiful and amazing people in your lives that you are grateful for. It's an honor to get to read about everyone. There are so many awesome people in the world!

The winner of the Gratitude Giveaway is Francesca Scopelliti! We didn't pick Francesca for our usual reason which is a person who gives more than they take. We chose Francesca because despite the fact that she had disabilities that she needed to overcome growing up, she had to do so while facing bullies who simply bullied her for reasons that were beyond her control. That's enough to make anyone want to give up on life, but she didn't. Francesca persevered with grace. We think that Francesca is the type of person who we could all learn from. Congratulations, Francesca! We're grateful for learning about you!

Here's the letter that her sister, Antonia wrote to us:

 I want to nominate my little sister for the gratitude giveaway. Her name is Francesca and she isn’t so little anymore but being 10 years older than her will always make her little. My little sister is 20 years old and has been through so much adversity in her life. I often wonder if I could have handled half the things she has been through.
She was born in November of 1990, 2 and a half months premature. She weighed 2 pounds and 1 ounce. She was tiny and it was sad to watch her be fed through a tube in her nose and then watch them shave her head and see all the wires on her. I honestly thought if she could make it through the first couple of months, she’d be fine. My older sister was also born premature and she turned out just fine so I didn’t really worry that much. She stayed in the hospital until the week before christmas. A few days before she came home, the doctor told my parents that she had suffered a brain haemorrhage shortly after her birth. They weren’t aware yet of how much damage had been done and as she grew they would monitor everything. The haemorrhage had cause cerebral palsy; a mild form that affected the right side of her body. It took her longer than most children to learn how to walk and the right side of her body was very weak. She needed to sleep with a machine attached to her leg and arm so that they would help strengthen her.
 When she entered school, we realized she wasn't learning as fast as the other children. She was diagnosed with a learning disability and everything became much harder. It took her double the time to learn things that her peers were learning. She had friends but was bullied because ignorant children didn't seem to understand that not everyone is the same. Through it all, she persevered. In high school, she faced similar challenges but managed to work through them.
 In 2005, she was walking home from school and hit by a car. She had to be home schooled for much of 10th grade and this caused her to go into a depression. There were moments when I found myself crying constantly because I couldn't imagine everything she had been through her whole life. This poor child had faced the unimaginable at such a young age.
 She began university in 2008, obviously, it was difficult at first because she realized she had to push much harder than the other students. She spent many nights crying herself to sleep and wanted to quit so many times. She never gave up though. She has been this way from the day she was born.
 Today, she is in her 3rd year of university. She has plans to attend law school once she graduates. We are all so proud of her and all her efforts.  I am thankful to have her in my life and to remind me every day that if you want something bad enough, it is attainable. J

Attached is a picture of her and I and our older sister (Francesca is in the middle and I am on the left). She is a true survivor and will always be the most important person in my life. 

Thank you,

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