Well Christmas came a little early to the Bartlett’s this year. Yesterday Stella got her Make A Wish dream of having her very own “pool” aka an amazing hot tub! There aren’t enough adjectives to adequately describe how happy we are for Stella. We are so grateful to the Make A Wish team and for the Marilyn Denis Show who took up our story and their design/construction for working so hard to not only install the hot tub but create a truly magical winter wonderland experience for Stella. Santa included.
Stella has loved water and swimming since she was a baby. Now, with limited mobility, she finds freedom from gravity in the water and is able to move her legs and arms much more freely. She is however getting longer and longer and is quickly outgrowing our tub. The water has to be very warm (92 degrees +) as Stella has almost no body fat and gets cold very quickly. The warm water is also excellent for helping her with her contractures (permanent muscle tightening) in her knees from lack of use and will hopefully help prevent or delay additional contractures. We never would have been able to do this ourselves for Stella and she truly loves it!
We are also incredibly thankful for the opportunity to share Stella’s story with the Marilyn Denis Show as we know how much exposure this will have. We know that with greater awareness of SMA will come more financial support for research, and then hopefully a treatment and a cure for our girl. There would be no greater gift than that.
SMA is a thief. It steals from Stella on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. We are helpless to watch our beautiful daughter struggle with simple physical tasks. Be frustrated with her lifeless limbs. To ask and be denied to do things we all take for granted. SMA has taken so much from us. We won’t also let it take our joy and our hope. We live for moments like these when we can truly make Stella’s dreams come true, make her feel more special, make her feel more loved than she ever thought possible and most importantly give us memories and moments together to cherish. Because we are lucky. We have Stella.
Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the logistics of this happen for Stella. It was a massive undertaking and we are so grateful to have such amazing people in our lives.
We will be sure to share the broadcast/airing information as soon as its confirmed.
Pictures from our mini staycation. To keep the hot tub a surprise for Stella the MAW team set us up at the Park Hyatt in Toronto. We got a chance to go to the ROM and enjoyed some super special room service!
There’s a film crew at our house! The winter wonderland….and of course THE HOT TUB!!! Stella and Oliver love it and both begged to get in as soon as they could. They also cried when we took them out. I think this will be a vicious (albeit wonderful) cycle at our house from now on!