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Tierra Y.

A princess gets her fairytale

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

Here at Chive Charities, our mission is to make the world 10% happier. Sometimes however, that is easier said than done. During these trying times, we look to our community for a glimmer of hope;  a hope rooted in their unwavering commitment to our mission and our recipients, making sure that their story is heard and embraced and ingrained in the fabric of what brings us closer together: humanity. When we approved Tierra’s grant 4 months ago, we had no way of knowing just how important her story would be for the world.

Enter Tierra. A young girl from Shreveport, LA that has defied odds since day one. Tierra is a beacon of hope and a perfect example of the effects of unconditional love, protection, and care for each other, even in the darkest of times. 

In March 2017, Kierra Youngblood was working as a circulating nurse in an operating room when she came across a young girl in the hallway. After commenting on how cute this child was and jokingly saying she wanted to take her home, she was told something that would change her life forever.

“You should take her, she is going back to the nursing home soon.” 

Kierra could not believe her ears. In all her time working as a nurse, she had never heard of a baby living in a nursing home.

Tierra, nicknamed “Princess”, was born with Miller-Dieker syndrome (MDS). MDS is a genetic condition characterized by a specific brain malformation (lissencephaly); distinctive facial features; and severe neurologic abnormalities including intellectual disability and seizures. Due to this, she was a frequent patient in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for her ailments. 

This trip to the PICU, however, is where Princess’ fairy tale truly began. Kierra began visiting Tierra on her days off at the nursing home. Quickly they realized that they were two peas in a pod. They fit together perfectly like Cinderella and her glass slipper. Once Kierra spoke to Tierra’s case worker, it became more and more realistic that Tierra would soon be matched with her forever home.

By May, Kierra was visiting Tierra in the nursing home five times a week. By July, the visits had become daily. In August, it was time for Tierra to leave the nursing home for good and finally come home! In April of 2018, Kierra officially adopted Tierra.

Unfortunately, during this time, Tierra was in and out of the hospital for appointments, infections, and several cases of pneumonia.

“Fall and Winter of 2018 and 2019 was a rough time for us,” said Kierra. “We had 6+ hospitalizations for pneumonia between October 2018 and January 2019, discharging only 3 days before Christmas.”

As of May 5, 2020, thanks to the power of love, safety, and compassion that she has received,  Tierra has been one-year hospital free. Her daycare loves her and spoils her rotten and she has even found her own fairy godmother in Ms. Ola, her in-home nurse.

The unconditional love of her church, daycare, and the love and affection given to her by Kierra and her family has given Tierra the strength and stability for her to grow.

All that was missing in Princess’ life was the carriage to take her to the ball. 

“Having a wheelchair accessible van will help ensure we can continue living a full life,” said Kierra. “We want to take vacations. As she is almost 5 and the wheelchair is the best option for her, having the extra room will help ensure we can have space for other family members or nurses to accompany us to church, doctors visits or even just the grocery store for help.”

This is where the Chive Charities donors stepped in with a $43,700 grant, providing Kierra and Tierra with an AMS wheelchair-accessible 2019 Grand Caravan SE.

Through the love and care that Tierra has received, her fairy tale has just begun. Now it is time for all of her dreams to come true.

You can help turn our next Chive Charities recipient’s story into a fairytale ending by becoming a monthly donor RIGHT HERE


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