Reporting Shannon Hori
MIAMI (CBS4) — Two South Florida mothers have taken a challenging situation and used it to refocus their own lives and in the process, impact others.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia and Claudia Orrett met in the waiting room of a therapy office several years ago, where they both took their daughters who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Both women delivered their children prematurely and said early on they knew their girls had the motor condition.
Michelle told CBS4’s Shannon Hori when a doctor finally confirmed Sami had cerebral palsy; she felt relief because she finally had a diagnosis.
Claudia had delivered twin girls. She said she knew Chloe had cerebral palsy because she could compare the development to her twin sister. She got the diagnosis when Chloe was 8-months old.
“You’re happy in a sense you know what your child has. But on the flip side, you’re filled with so many emotions. ‘OK, what do you do next? What’s the next step?’”
Both mothers started reading everything they could about cerebral palsy. At the therapy office they would share everything, specialists, treatments, and shoulders to lean on.
Claudia and her husband decided to offer a specialized therapy at the Coral Gables children’s school they already ran, Blossom’s. That’s where Michelle’s daughter also gets therapy.
Then, the women who had been soaking up information for years, asked this question.
“We said to each other how could we share this information, it would be great,” Claudia said. “Oh, let’s start a magazine.”
So they did and called it “Unique Me Magazine.” It’s for families with children with special needs.
Unique Me is now in its second issue. The women explained when it becomes profitable they plan to provide scholarships for therapy for families in need.
“We ourselves are accomplishing something we never imagined. I mean, a magazine, you know,” said Claudia proudly.
Michelle agreed. “You look at the magazine. You look at it and say, ‘Now I understand why we have our daughters. Now it’s all coming together.’”