Help us celebrate our daughter’s first heavenly birthday

How we plan to honor Cammy, who would've turned 15 in March

Jackie Babiarz avatar

by Jackie Babiarz |

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March 10, 2023, was the last time we would ever celebrate our late daughter Cammy‘s birthday with her. In my heart, I knew it would be, as complications of Rett syndrome were impacting her more and more. Cammy needed to be on supplementary oxygen at night, her profound scoliosis was crushing her lungs, and her anxiety and depression were increasing.

So we threw her an open-house type of party, where friends and family could stop by our house at any point throughout the day. Tons of loved ones dressed up for the ’90s theme and came over to spend time with Cammy. It was a spectacular 14th birthday celebration. Cammy was on cloud nine.

March 10 of this year will be Cammy’s 15th birthday, but her first heavenly one. I am preparing for it to be a tough day for our family. I’m also still preparing to make it an unforgettable birthday. With all the lives our daughter has touched, I hope many around the world will help celebrate Cammy.

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How you can participate

Purple is the awareness color designated for Rett syndrome. We don’t see purple as a negative color, but rather one of hope and love. Everything purple reminds us of Cammy.

Five arms reach toward the sky holding balloons. The balloons are purple, and so they stand out in the otherwise black-and-white photo.

Cammy’s cousins sent her purple balloons on Valentine’s Day. (Courtesy of Jacqueline Babiarz)

I would love for Cammy to receive more balloons than she could count. If you feel inclined, please send some purple or birthday balloons up to the sky for Cammy. I can visualize her free of the body Rett imprisoned her in, chasing and catching every single balloon sent up to her.

Cammy always loved chalk drawings. When her fairy godmother, Joy, was diagnosed with breast cancer, Cammy and I went to her house with chalk to write positive messages and happy drawings all over her driveway. I would love for Cammy to see a million messages and drawings in chalk. Spread kindness by sharing a message or a sweet drawing in chalk somewhere to brighten people’s days, especially Cammy’s.

It’s not an official birthday until sweets are served. On her special day, eat some of Cammy’s favorite foods. She loved pasta, especially lasagna. Cammy’s dessert pick was cannoli, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or chocolate cake.

Our family will never stop working for a cure for Rett syndrome and supporting everyone with special needs. For Cammy’s 15th birthday, we are humbly asking for donations to our community’s annual dodgeball tournament. All proceeds will go to three organizations near and dear to our hearts: International Rett Syndrome Foundation, Western DuPage Special Recreation Association, and Project Fire Buddies.

Happy first heavenly birthday, Cammy.

Note: Rett Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Rett Syndrome News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Rett syndrome.


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