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Parenting Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast

May 26, 2020

In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Annette looks back at what inspired her to start this podcast last September. Annette’s vision was to create a space where people could come together and talk about issues affecting the special needs community. It was all in honor of her daughter Elizabeth, who passed away from mitochondrial disease in 2013.

Despite the pain, Annette learned the importance of remembering the joyful moments. While it’s not easy to talk about, Annette hopes her loss will become a source of strength for other special needs families. This week, as Annette’s family and friends remember Elizabeth on her birthday, May 31st, we take a moment to reflect on a podcast that highlights Annette’s brave journey.

The Power of Storytelling - Seek The Joy Podcast - Episode 24

December 10th, 2019:

"This month’s episode reminded me that we all have struggles in life, and when we choose to honestly share our own stories - the highs and lows, ups and downs, moments of difficulty but also of triumph - we can create a path forward we never anticipated. But even more than that, we can help and inspire others to pave a new path forward for themselves, too.

It’s truly my honor to share the stories and provide the space here to share a little bit more about the women behind these words.

Annette Hines is a best-selling author, lawyer, and the founder of Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts, PC. Her world as she knew it exploded when her infant daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease—a degenerative, life-limiting illness. Annette’s joy quickly turned to apprehension, and she knew nothing would ever be the same again.

In this week’s new episode, Annette shares her journey with her daughter Elizabeth and learning to become an advocate in the face of adversity, but also in joy. In her book, Butterflies and Second Chances, Annette shares her family’s story and provides hope and inspiration to so many; it’s the inspiring true story of a mother’s special needs journey, and her struggle to secure the best possible life for her child in the face of bureaucratic resistance and marital crisis.

When Annette first started writing, she wrote the book for herself. She hadn’t connected yet with other parents who had lost children to illness, and that was an amazing turning point for her. She realized that she was creating an incredible tool that could help other families who are experiencing the same hardships - and watching the impact that her journey and book are having on others has been incredible. Annette’s story is one of sacrifice, dedication, and the life-altering adjustments a special needs parent must make when confronted with the unthinkable. But most of all, it’s about love and an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship that flourished without words in the darkest shadows of adversity. Annette and Elizabeth’s powerful story provides hope, solace, and a path forward for parents of special needs children, and I know that it will resonate with you, too.

"Through sharing my story I’ve learned that there are a lot more people out there that feel like I do, that feel lonely or disconnected and scared. For me, the answer was always connecting with other moms, parents, and community members who are going through similar things that I was going through. I want to create an army of advocates, well-informed family and community members that are going to advance the disability community."