Meet Makayla Messam
It was all a blur. In reflecting, those early days feel like they belong to someone else.
“Lack of oxygen”
“All major organs are failing”
“Not likely to survive”
“She won’t walk”
Makayla has been feisty from the beginning. She refused to submit. She didn’t fit the mould of giving up. She survived, and with her tenacity, Makayla has thrived.
Makayla has spent a significant part of her life in pain. Surgeries, intensive care, seizures, needles, and more. In the early years, we spent many days and nights at Sick Kids hospital. We lived on high alert, and to some extent, we still do. Makayla didn’t have a typical childhood, hers was filled with years of daily gruelling therapy and constant physician appointments. But somehow, she’s always shown a resilience and work ethic that can’t be contained or explained. She has defied every expectation and projected limitation set out. She crushed all the odds.
Makayla is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, seizure disorder, communication disorder and an intellectual disability. She’s also learned how to walk 4 times, modelled for numerous organizations and can dance better than mostly everybody else in the world. Makayla communicates on a different sense, it’s energy. She can sense good over bad, love over evil and sincere over inauthentic. Little known fact, Makayla has accurately predicted each baby’s gender prior to birth in our family!
We don’t float through life. Each day is carefully planned, organized and arranged. Differences bring out the best and worst in people. Thankfully, the majority of people we have met in this life as a result of her diagnosis has been a beautiful experience. Makayla has been cared for by so many inspiring humans, however I do believe what she’s given far exceeds. The impacts Makayla has made have been embedded in many people’s hearts and minds. It always gives me a smile when we go through the mall, and someone runs to greet her and shares a story of how they’ll never forget her. In fact, a young man who found himself needing to complete high school volunteer hours spent his lunch hours with Makayla. He has since decided that the experience with her has triggered his desire to make a career out of caring for differently abled persons. How many of us can say we have made impacts like that?! We feel as though we have been honoured to have been picked to be her family. Happiness and success looks different for us, and we can thank Makayla for that. We are not driven by the external needs, it’s the small wins each that which give us glory. Makayla is our Glory.
Makayla is not only strong willed, she is the most authentic and genuine person you could ever know. What Makayla shows a person is sincere, and cannot be filtered through ego unlike many typically developed persons do. Makayla loves and lives life out loud, she is the epitome of transparent. She does not carry grudges, she does not hold onto anger. She will forgive within a moment, and there is never a second guess to her intentions. Makayla has made her influence on many because she is pure. She is honest. She is selfless. She is deeply loving. There is never a feeling of hardship, or loss. She does not dwell on what’s been lost, no…she’s focused on being in the moment and enjoying life minute by minute. Makayla lives without self-importance, she is rooted in love and laughter.
Makayla is our version is perfection. And if we had the choice to change her in any way, we would decline. Because we feel so genuinely grateful and blessed to be truly loved by someone so complete.
Keep spreading your joy, your love and smooth dance moves! Makayla, you are a legend xoxo