A Mother's Day Wish for Parent of Special Needs Child - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

A Mother's Day Wish for Parent of Special Needs Child


LAUREL, Del. -- Upon first glance at Brittany Vandemark you would probably see an everyday 12-year old girl.

She's tech-savvy, likes to look her best with manicured nails and she absolutely loves country music star Luke Bryan.

Holding her hands in the shape of a heart and blowing kisses at photos of Bryan on her bedroom wall is how Brittany reacts whenever she hears one of his songs.

But there's one thing that makes Brittany a little different from other 12-year olds. She has a debilitating brain disorder called cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a group of brain disorders that affect movement and motor coordination permanently. The symptoms develop early in childhood. 2012 was the last time Brittany walked on her own.

Brittany has also been battling a type of brain cancer called medulloblastoma since 2012. After a number of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Brittany developed a life-threating buildup of fluid around her heart that required emergency surgery. Brittany would eventually be admitted to the Ronald McDonald House for chronically ill children in Wilmington where she should remain a live-in patient for the next two years. 

Like any girl her age, Brittany still loves to play and dance.

Kimberly Vandemark, Brittany's mom, tells WBOC why her Mother's Days are more special than most.

"I have two beautiful daughters, who one of them has been through so much," said Vandemark. "And I'm very thankful that's she here with me everyday to give me hugs."

At times it's hard for Brittany to speak but she's able to tell WBOC why her mom is so special to her.

"I had a feeling that she was always going to be here for me," said Brittany.

Victoria Vandemark says she's proud to be Brittany's big sister.

"It feels great. I love how she always looks up to me," said Victoria.

Brittany and her mom say the next chance they have to see Luke Bryan will be at his concert in Virginia Beach at Farm Bureau Live on June 25. They're hoping to get a chance to meet him in person one more time.

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