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Defying the odds in life

Aug. 7, 2009 - "Every child a wanted child," so the Planned Parenthood slogan goes.

Laura Tedder knows something about that. Laura survived several abortion attempts before her birth in 1948 and was placed for adoption. To say Laura's life has been difficult is an understatement. She was born with cancer, and complications from it have led to dozens of surgeries since. Despite all the hardships she has endured, Laura is a living argument against that slogan.

"I'm a walking miracle, she said. "I'm lucky to be alive. God put me here for a reason."

Laura's aunt and uncle brought her into their loving home two days after her birth. While Laura's birth mother was not able to raise her and the two do not share a close relationship, she was wanted and loved by her aunt and uncle.

While being adopted can have some negative consequences for a child, Laura has been forced to deal with a lot more. Laura was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye when she was two years old. Doctors had to remove her right eye before the cancer spread. She has had many surgeries since to correct the trauma left from the cancer. The treatment included radiation, which in turn caused brain cancer and several more surgeries years later. At one point in 1998, Laura was given only two weeks to live because of a brain tumor. Despite her frequent visits to the operating room, Laura described her continuing trip through life as hilariously funny at times.

"When you are dealt a hand of bad cards, you have to keep persevering," she said.

Despite her bad cards, Laura kept persevering. She currently lives in Warren with her husband John, and they have one son and three grandchildren. Her mother is still alive and although she has not made peace with her, she has made peace with herself.

"I don't have any hatred for her, I'm too old for that," she said. "When you get older, you just see everything differently."

After another brain surgery in 2006, Laura decided to write an autobiography dealing with her struggles in life and is currently working to have it published. She said she doesn't know why she has had so many problems, but she hopes her life story will inspire others to believe they can overcome their own struggles.

"I wrote it for someone going through the same problems, to show them there is light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

Laura said any people in similar circumstances with a parent should let go of their resentment sooner so they can reconcile before it is too late. She hopes that any woman facing a crisis pregnancy like her mother would think again before following the advice of that slogan.

"Now matter how you get pregnant, it's a miracle baby," Laura said. "No matter what the circumstances, it's not the baby's fault. They were meant to live. Everyone needs a chance for life, you don't get many shots at it."

Laura the "walking miracle" certainly knows something about that.

For more information about pregnancy help and adoption services available in Michigan, click here.

 

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