Some women can reject healthy babies after giving birth. And what if the child is born sick? Doctors are right on cue with papers advising “let the government take care of this one, you will still bear a healthy child.”
Ivanka Danišová wasn’t abandoned by her parents, even though in Slovakia such a child is considered a shame to the family, condemned to be hidden from people. Now, the woman is 31, and most of her life she has been hiding the right side of her face behind hair, as the left one doesn’t show any signs of a rare birth defect.
Ivanka has the Goldenhar syndrome. It is a developmental defect of the skull, usually damaging only a half of the face, but still both sides suffer from impaired eyesight, hearing, and problems with teeth. The syndrome has a negative impact on the heart, lungs, kidneys, as well as the spine. Ivanka knows all this too well. She is one ear deaf, has cardiac arrhythmia and… leukemia, discovered in 2014.
I mustn’t have survived in childhood. But I had a goal, and nobody and nothing could stop me. Same as now.
Ivanka was born one of the triplets. Two healthy sisters protected her from bullying and helped her stay strong.
They didn’t let others offend me. But they could also be strict with me. They didn’t allow me to complain or give in. I am so thankful for this. They raised me brave, and now I am not afraid of anything.
Now, she encourages other people suffering from the Goldenhar syndrome. Ivanka Danišová came through numerous operations and surely has something to say. The woman started a Facebook page, titled "Rainbow for Ivanka." There, she posts her pictures and tells more about the syndrome.
I refuse to accept that this condition should still be a 'taboo' in Slovakia, and that these children are viewed as unacceptable for this society.
Now, she is studying to be a lawyer in her country. In the future, she dreams of working in the chosen field, but wants to graduate Harvard. Dr. Russell Reid, a renowned plastic surgeon, is ready to make one last operation in Chicago. It was scheduled for September 2017, but the funds are still being raised.
We sincerely hope that Ivanka will have a healthy life. What would you wish her?