As parents, we try to shelter our children from as much pain and danger as possible. But for a parent of a child with Brittle Bone Disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta), even something as soft as a carpet can lead to a broken bone.
Rachel Glad’s son, Nathan, was diagnosed at birth with a severe form of this disease, which causes him to break a bone on a monthly basis (if not more) due to his bones being extremely fragile. But his family refused to let this diagnosis stop him from finding joy in his journey. Nathan has even started a TikTok account and is a source of inspiration for thousands of people.
Nathan doesn’t let himself be defined by his disability. Instead, he lives every day like it’s the best day ever. This family’s unbreakable spirit is an excellent example of courage, gratitude, hope, and perseverance. In this episode, Rachel shares wonderful advice on how to face the challenges life can throw at you.
She talks about finding the courage to accept the things you cannot change, balancing a careful life with an adventurous one, helping your child heal, and finding community when challenges get too overwhelming.
Rachel also shares great advice on educating our children and addressing those with disabilities to promote curiosity instead of avoidance.
Her family went from being the ones asking the questions to becoming advocates and helpers for others with a disability, and Rachel is now a Parent Consultant at the Utah Parent Center (a country-wide resource designed to help parents navigate disabilities).
Rachel’s family, especially her son Nathan, is a true testament to what it is like to have a brave heart while dealing with a difficult medical challenge like Brittle Bones Disease.
Key Takeaways with Rachel Glad
- How to keep a positive attitude through life’s hardest challenges.
- The power of gratitude and appreciation for what we do have in life.
- Finding the courage to accept the things you cannot change.
- Strategies for finding community in support groups such as churches, charities, and other families.
- Educating children on how to ask questions and address someone in a wheelchair or with a disability.
- Becoming an ambassador and giving back to the community that helped you.
- Remembering that your child can also teach you a lot of lessons on resilience, gratitude, and strength.
- Filling your own cup as a caregiver, so that you have more to give to others.
- Nathan’s formula to feeling better:
- Be grateful for what you have
- Focus on what you can do
- Serve others in whatever way you can
- Believe that today will be the best day ever
Rachel Glad Tweetables
- “It’s a surgery I have to have to stay alive, and it’s something I know I can’t change, so why be sad? That doesn’t make it better. It’s a lot easier to deal with things if you’re happy, so I just decided to be happy.” – Nathan Glad
- “Life is to be enjoyed, not lived in bubble wrap.” – Rachel Glad
- “For Nathan’s siblings, his diagnosis has given them a sense of compassion they would have never had. They can see somebody that is different and be able to have empathy for them.” – Rachel Glad
- “Nathan is helping others see beyond the wheelchair. See beyond the little, fragile body.” – Rachel Glad
- More information on Osteogenesis Imperfecta
- Follow Happy Nathan on Tiktok
- Red Fred Project
- Follow Dallas Graham and the Red Fred Project on Instagram
- Find Your Parent Center
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