Freebie Friday Contest Winner:
Rick Solis's Winning Story About His Daughter Nina
I have been blessed with 2 wonderful, talented kids. They both make me very proud, however, my daughter, Nina never ceases to amaze and inspire me.
Nina, who is now 15 years old, suffered a horrendous swimming pool accident at our house when she was 6 years old. She damaged her jaw, and lost 11 permanent teeth. She has lived her entire life with a two retainers (Top and bottom) with fake teeth inserted in them. She has endured the embarrassment of removing her teeth in public places to eat, and to clean them after meals. She has been waiting her whole life to mature to an age where she can get her surgery to insert permanent prosthetic teeth.
Earlier this year she underwent a bone graft, and implanting of the inserts for her teeth on her bottom jaw. She endured the pain like a trooper, and did everything the doctors told her to do. She thanked me for saving up the money for the surgery and implants, and volunteered to help pay for it, by giving up dancing. (Made me cry)
Last week, she went to the doctor, thinking that she would finally be able to lead a normal life, to kiss a boy without embarrassment, to eat in public without having to take out her dentures.
The poor kid got dealt another blow, as the bone graft rejected, and they had to re-do the entire process yesterday. Additional months of pain, suffering, and not eating real food…….and still no teeth to show for it.
The amazing part of this story, is that never once has she uttered a negative word about anything. Even facing the most recent adversity, she remains optimistic that soon she will be normal.
Even more amazing, is the fact that she is very driven, loyal, and committed to everything she does. She is selfless in every way.
She decided not to attend a conventional high school, and instead, entered a program with only 18 kids designed for medical arts. No school dances, no prom, no football games, etc. She chose this program because she is committed to someday working in the medical field with children.
For several years she has hosted an Alex’s Lemonade Stand in honor of a little girl with Leukemia. The little girl’s name is Madison Ferris, and her face book foundation is “All 4 Maddie”. Nina continually sits at the stand in public places where everyone around her is having fun, raising thousands and thousands of dollars for the foundation…….in Maddie’s name.
She also raises money for a foundation called “Rider Down”, which benefits incapacitated motorcycle riders with little or no health insurance. She sits at motorcycle races all day in the heat selling bead necklaces and trinkets that she made by herself. She even uses her own money to buy the supplies, and always has little kids around her stand making bead jewelry, that she gives to them for free.
She also volunteers as a counselor at a summer camp for kids 3 days a week throughout the entire summer, while attending Ballet School, where she is an accomplished dancer, 4 nights a week. She is extremely dedicated to her dancing, and has earned every role she’s been awarded. She would love to attend the School of Performing Arts in Philadelphia, but is ok with attending nursing school to become a nurse practitioner.
A small, scraggly, baby horse was born on our farm, and Nina decided that she wanted to train it herself. The scraggly little filly has matured into a gorgeous animal, and Nina took that wild little baby, and trained it, all by herself, to ride. Nina was never taught how to train horses. She taught herself, while she was teaching the filly. She is riding it in 2 of the pictures attached, and it has been very rewarding to me to witness Nina’s patience along the way.
Last, she has a little pony that I bought for her when she was about 6 years old. It is way too small for her to ride any longer. She refuses to sell the pony, because she’s so attached to it. She decided that it wasn’t fair to the pony to not be ridden, so she and her pony teach little kids how to ride and care for horses, and makes the pony happy by spending time with her. She has never charged any little kid one cent for the experience, and one of her students has gone on to compete in equestrian events on her own. Every little girl dreams of riding a pony. Nina fulfills their dreams, and more…….without ever asking a dime in return. Even when her friends are out doing teenager things, Nina is out there giving little kids a great opportunity.
She has never gotten anything but straight “A’s” her entire life, and is a Brown belt in Tae Kwan Do. She also participates in, and raises money for a charity 5k run, every year, called “Run For Ricky”. Dedication and commitment are understatements.
My daughter is my inspiration, and is the catalyst that keeps me going. Her positive energy is contagious, and no matter what adversity she faces, she seems to find the glimmer of hope through the clouds. She NEVER complains and always sees the positives in every situation, no matter how bad it is. Her motto is: “If you think you have it bad, there’s someone out there who has it worse”
Nina and her Horse