Sunday, August 14, 2011

A letter to people

Our Story about “Healing Anaya- Healing Humanity”

Written August 14, 2011

Her golden hair sparkles in the sunshine.  I bring my lips to her forehead and kiss her soft delicate skin.  Inhaling her sweet baby smell, my heart melts and my whole body tingles with the energy of mama love. Touching her hair with my fingertips I wonder at the little curls that spring up behind her perfect little ears.  I enfold her in my arms, and lay down beside her.  Just to be with her.  To enjoy every second of her.  She is dying.

On this day in 2009 I started having contractions.  Gut wrenching, make my legs shake contractions.  Inside my womb was a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  She was rambunctious and strong, kicking and stretching.  She’d push her little foot against the side of my tummy until you could actually see it.  Brent and I had already chosen a name for her.  Anaya.  It means “God’s Answer” or “Completely Free”.

We could never have known what the next two years would bring us.  Anaya entered the world on August 26.   She was completely whole and perfect.  Her apgars were normal, she squalled and waved her little fists about.  She nursed well and I took her home the next day.  For months everything was wonderful.  She had the most beautiful little smile, and would even mimic my sounds when I would coo at her.  She’d laugh.  I’d melt.

At four months the nightmare began.  She cried and was irritable all the time. She started choking at the breast.  We took her to emergency.  We were directed to the children’s hospital.  After weeks of intensive tests we were told that our baby Anaya’s myelin was disappearing from her brain, and her nerves.  That she would lose all of her abilities.  That we should take her home to die.  We left the hospital and drove home on Valentine’s day. 

We tried everything.  Naturopathy, Chinese Medicine, Conventional Medicine, Herbs, Homeopathy, Brain Gym, Faith Healers.  She continued to get worse.  I remember the last time she looked at me and smiled.  We were on the couch.  I was cuddling her.  She looked right into my eyes, into my soul, and she smiled the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen.  Her hazel green and brown eyes seemed to have incredible love and wisdom in them.  I was entranced and stared at her until she looked away. That night she lost her sight, and her smile.

Anaya never sat up, never learned to crawl, and never said the word “mama” – but I’ve heard it in my heart.  She has become my teacher.  My mentor.  She is God’s Answer in my life.  I needed to learn about compassion.  I needed to learn patience.  I needed to learn what the meaning of life was.  All my life I wanted answers.  I wanted to know why I was so different from everyone else I had met.  Why it seemed as though humanity had started to lose their sense of self.  Why I did not have a sense of self and a feeling of purpose.  I started writing an online blog about my life with Anaya, sharing the ups and downs, the joys and the hurts.  People read it and understood.  I expressed my heart explicitly and found support and love.

Anaya became known nationally in Canada as the “Breast milk Baby”, as she could not tolerate formula and was now tube-fed.  I pumped for 10 months but was unable to produce enough to feed her.  Almost a hundred women from across Canada shipped us their frozen milk, and it is still her main staple food at 23.5 months.  Anaya has supporters all over the world who think of her with love.  She has taught so many people, through me, about finding the true joys in life and living in the moment.

Right now Anaya has bi-lobe pneumonia.  We were discharged on Wednesday from the hospital.  The doctor said there was nothing they could do, unless we wanted to put her on more intensive life supports.  We had always promised Anaya, and ourselves, that we would never do that to her.  When it is her time to go, we will let her graduate from this life with dignity, respect and love.  We will hold her close in our arms, in the comfort of our home and celebrate all the joy she has brought us and the lessons she has shared.  So we took her home.  It upset my nurse, she disagreed with our choice.  After an emotional argument she quit, and my nursing agency withdrew nursing support from our home.

These past few days have been rough.  Anaya needs care 24 hours a day.  I need to stay with her.  I promised my baby that I would be there to hold her when…she flies to heaven.  I still pray and hope for a miracle.  That she will overcome the pneumonia.  That she will regain her eyesight.  That one day I will see her smile and hear the word “Mama.”  I have faith, it is possible.  Anaya will turn two in 12 days.

I’ve asked people touched by Anaya’s life to help us through this time financially by subscribing to my blog or making a donation.  I ask you, please, read it.  Anaya’s lessons will touch your heart and inspire your soul.

Written by Anaya’s Mama. Camara Cassin


  1. You are amazing! As much as we learn from Anaya, we learn equally as much from you. You were chosen to be this perfect soul's mother, and it was the perfect choice. You are amazing. Never forget that. XO

  2. Are your circumstances at the point where Canuck Place is a feasible option ... I personally know two families who have been fortunate enough to benefit from Canuck Place services and they cannot say enough good things about the team there.

  3. i read ur post often and the way u write down the love u have for ur little anaya melts my heart n soul i have 2 children and my youngest is just 2 i cant begin to imagine how u cope with knowin that her life will b cut so short life can b cruel but ur baby was given to u for a reason she was meant to grace this earth and b born to u all my love hugs and kisses vicky from london uk xxx

  4. Bless you, Mama. Sending love and hope... You might not know this, but another obscure meaning of Anaya is "butterfly." Peace to you, and so many bright blessings to you and your sweet butterfly.

  5. Hi Camara
    Sorry to post as ANONYMOUS but I don't have an account. I just wanted to let you know I've donated $10 month. It's not much, but hope it helps.

    I also was touched by your paragraph above....paragraph 6 where you talk about searching for your sense of feeling and purpose; why you were so different from everyone else. I believe God is the creator of all of us, and he lends us His children into his care while they are on earth. I believe he selected you and Brent as Anaya's parents, knowing how you would stand vigil, fight hard, and love love love love that little girl, so that her whole life she knew nothing but tenderness. I wanted to share with you something I read in my daily Bible readings yesterday. It's from John chapter 9 verses 2 and 3:

    "Rabbi," his disciples asked him," why was this man born blind?" Was it because of his sins or his parents' sins?"
    "It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him."

    The notes that go with the reading are as follows: "A common belief in culture was that calamity or suffering was the result of some great sin. But Christ used this suffering to teach about faith and to glorify God.

    If God took suffering away whenever we asked, we would follow Him for comfort and convenience, not out of love and devotion. Regardless of the reasons for our suffering, Jesus has the power to help us deal with it. When you suffer from a disease or tragedy or disability, try not to ask "why did this happen?" Instead, ask God to give you strength for the trial and a clearer perspective on what is happening."

    Camara love, I know you haven't ever posed the "why me" question, so it is a little different. But I wanted to encourage you that Anaya is here on earth to teach us so many, patience, gentleness, selflessness and faith.

    In God's word, the Bible, Jesus says when we get to heaven we will have new bodies, pain free, sorrow free and without tears. Children who are our gift on earth for only a short time get to go to Heaven and be with Jesus. Anaya will run the streets of Heaven, paved with gold, and sing and laugh with the angels.

    Sorry I was so long in posting, I just wanted to encourage you and are here if you ever wanted to

    Bless you, love. Thank you for being the wonderful mother you are to Solara as well.



Please feel free to comment and send your LOVE!