We are from a small town in the Southern Part of India. In 2006, we had our first child, a beautiful girl who we called Shriya, prematurely at 32 weeks. She weighed only 1.8kgs and spent her first few weeks in neonatal care. She was adored by one and all in our families but inside we knew something was not right, as she was not holding her neck at 6 months of age, and not rolling over at the age of 9 months. We knew her needs and abilities were different and we went to consult a specialist who diagnosed her with Cerebral Palsy. As we understood the seriousness of the condition, it tested everything… us, our families, our faith…
At that time we got an opportunity to move to Australia for my husband’s work. We were unsure, about Shriya’s condition, about moving to a new country, about starting again. But we decided to embark on this new chapter in our lives and in 2007 we moved to Melbourne, which was going to be our new home.
Being in Melbourne was a blessing for Shriya. The support and guidance we received from Royal Children’s Hospital was and still is amazing. Shriya has had many health issues associated with her condition and although some of her milestones are delayed, there are other areas that she needs medical and allied health support for. We are forever looking for the best options for her, so she can develop independent living skills to the best of her ability.
What Shriya brought with her into our lives, was a mystery, a challenge but also this indescribable love and strength that gave us hope. With this hope came the desire to apply our learnings and experiences into a purpose.
Care to Connect, Inc is our purpose, a platform with the vision to have inclusion, where through our experiences, learnings and with the guidance of experts in the community and disability sector, we hope to connect and support other families who are in the same boat as us.
Our journey has taught us that simple changes can help take the weight off when you are living with a loved one who has a disability.
We want to support those living with a disability but also their carers, siblings and extended family members so they feel valued, heard and supported in every way.