Giana's Story

Images Captured by Dawnette Walters Photography

When Tiny Light Giana smiles it lights up the whole world. For parents Michael and Shelley, that ray of sunshine is reason enough to get up each and every day. 

Giana was nearly six weeks old when her mom and dad found out she had several serious medical issues. She was diagnosed with isolated lissencephaly (Type 1), also known as “smooth brain”. It’s a rare disorder resulting in a lack of development of brain folds and grooves. This means Giana will only function at the level of a five month old baby. She also has microcephaly, or “small brain”, so her head is much smaller than the average three year old. Giana needs to be on a ventilator to assist with breathing and she is on a number of medications for a seizure disorder.

At first, her parents were devastated and angry. Then one morning, they woke up and realized Giana is the most precious gift they could have ever received. “Giana is our light, our world. We cherish every moment we have with her.”

Though her activities are limited, Giana loves getting attention. She enjoys bath time and music. But if she is annoyed at her twin brother Dominic, she doesn’t hesitate to let him know by rolling her eyes.
Doctors aren’t sure what is in Giana’s future. The family is taking it one day at a time and already, this beautiful Tiny Light has surpassed the odds. “Live life to its fullest. Realize that you have to live every day like it’s your last.”

Written by Elaine Yong