My Parenting Journey: Giving Direction to My Life

by | May 15, 2017 | P2P

My Parenting Journey:  Giving Direction to My Life 

Sometimes situations happen in our life and we have no understanding as to why or how we will even see a brighter day.  This happened when my daughter, Valerie, was born with Down syndrome. When she was first diagnosed, I was 6 months pregnant.  Due to her poor cardiac and kidney functioning, they said she wouldn’t live long after birth, but somehow she struggled and lived 8 months.  She was also born with a cleft palate. I struggled as to why God had given me 2 healthy children and then a daughter with so many health challenges.  I didn’t know if it was fair to Valerie, to my other children, or to myself.

When Valerie passed away, she passed away in her sleep, at home, next to me in bed. I will never forget that day, when I held her for 4 hours. I couldn’t let go.  I cried and cried with such pain that I thought my heart would stop like hers.  But I had to focus and realize that Valerie was brought into my life to give me direction…and that she did.

A picture of Sergio, a young boy in a wheelchair with a small dog on his lap.


I then went back to nursing school the next semester and after a few years, I had the opportunity to work with children with disabilities, from birth to 21 years of age. I did this for 15 years. I loved my special kids and became so close to their families.  I realized that from my pain, Valerie had given me direction in my life to be able to understand what other parents were going through.  I was able to have more compassion and understanding, even upon my pediatric patients’ deaths. I was able to console the family with more empathy, as I understood their pain and sorrow.

Today, I am not practicing pediatric nursing but I continue to work with the disability community.  I love my professional work and my volunteer hours. I love to make a positive difference.  Sometimes situations happen in our life that we have no control over and no understanding about but the direction it takes us is more rewarding than anything we can imagine.




A picture of many people starting to run with a Colfax Marathon sign above them.


And with this, I have decided to run the Colfax Marathon (26.2 miles) the weekend of May 20 and 21, 2017. I am running for my daughter Valerie, for my best friend’s son, Sergio, who also passed from complications of Cerebral Palsy, and for all the other children with disabilities in the state of Colorado. I am also running to support Parent to Parent of Colorado!

I won’t lie, I am scared because I know how difficult it will be, but I am determined to finish with this great cause with my little angels helping me along. Never in my life did I ever think that I would run a marathon, but never in my life did I ever think I would be a mom of a Down syndrome little baby.

A picture of Chrissy running on a treadmill at her gym as she trains for the Colfax Marathon.


I have been training aggressively because I want everyone to know how children’s health is of such importance and special children and parents face a variety of daily challenges. Your donations to Parent to Parent of Colorado will help me reach my goal of continuing to support families who face daily joys and challenges.

Ability Connection Colorado (the umbrella organization over Parent to Parent) will have a booth at the Colfax Marathon so if you are in the area, I so need your support!

Let’s come together and raise awareness and support each other in the directions led by our special children.






Editor’s Note:  We often talk about the journey of parenting as a marathon and we are so thrilled that Chrissy is putting her journey into action!  You can support Parent to Parent of Colorado and show your support for Chrissy by making a donation at:    You can also honor a loved one with your donation now or at any time during the year!  Your donation goes directly to our support our program and donations to Parent to Parent are tax deductible (consult your tax professional).

A picture of a woman running on a dirt road with blue sky and clouds on the horizon.


Chrissy Carrera is the Communications and Bilingual Coordinator at Parent to Parent of Colorado. In this position, she facilitates the Padres a Padres support group for parents who wish to communicate in Spanish as well as handling logistics for our Online Parent Support Group. Chrissy is enthusiastic about connecting with families across Colorado and you can often find her at our P2P booth at resource fairs and community events!

Did you know we have thousands of resources for parents and professionals in The Resource Storeroom?  Find parent recommended resources on Disability, Education, Technology and more!

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Parent to Parent connects families of sons and daughters with disabilities to information and emotional support.  We work with all ages, all disabilities across the state of Colorado!  Join us today!  It’s free and easy to register!



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