Denver, CO (KMGH ) — A cross-country road trip with family is a perfect recipe for memories, but it’s also plenty of work.
This time a lot of it falls on the mother, Natalie Weaver.
About one year ago, she started Sophia’s Voice, a non-profit helping kids with disabilities by providing aid for medical expenses and utilities.
“We also try to normalize facial deformities and disabilities and spread the message of love, kindness and acceptance,” Weaver said.
She and her family are driving that message across the country.
Weaver says her passion began about 10 years ago when her first daughter, Sophia, was born.
“I found out when I was 34-weeks pregnant that she would be born with deformities to her face, hands and feet and that she might not survive birth,” she said.
Sophia survived, and Weaver says as soon as she saw her, she fell in love.
“When I finally went to the NICU to see her that evening, I released all of that pain and fear and my mother’s love took over, and I knew that I was going to be the mom that she needed me to be,” Weaver said.
Most of Sophia’s time was spent in hospitals and operating rooms.
Weaver says most people never accepted her daughter.
“People would scream and laugh,” she said.
After 30 surgeries and signs that Sophia’s health was worsening, Weaver and her family decided to take her out of the hospital to enjoy life with whatever time she had left.
“When I talked to her about it, she looked me in the eyes, and she was saying ‘thank you.’ She signed and said, ‘all done.’ And she was so happy,” she said
Their biggest trip would be across the country, but Sophia didn’t make it.
“I laid next to her in the bed as she took her last breaths, and those were the last moments,” she said.
Weaver says the road trip is in her daughter’s memory.
Their next stop will be in Utah and then Montana before heading back home to North Carolina.
To follow the Weaver family’s trip, you can follow their social media profiles.
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