We can learn amazing things from a child with special needs. On the weekend edition of Live the Promise Susie welcomes Senator Rick Santorum and his wife Karen to the program to talk about their beautiful daughter Bella.

“Bella is a little girl with a big message – every life matters.”

Rick and Karen were overjoyed when they found out they were expecting. They share how they reacted to Bella’s initial diagnosis of Trisomy 18, a condition that leads to death for the majority of children diagnosed. The doctors informed them that her airway and lungs were not normally formed and that her death would eventually come because of a respiratory disease. It was the fight of their life – but Rick and Karen were determined to give Bella all the love and care she deserved.

Karen and Rick decided to campaign for the presidency in this season in order to fight for Bella and others like her who were being denied proper health care. In Karen’s words,

“They’re not a diagnosis – they’re a person worthy of the same dignity and respect as any other person.”

Rick describes what happened when Bella had a severe health crisis during his campaign. As he left the campaign trail to be with her, something extraordinary happened.

“All the negativity stopped. It didn’t feel like it was appropriate and everyone stood down – we got calls from all of the candidates and media. After people found out about Bella, we had so many people come [to rallies] from the disabled community who had long-term disabilities.”

Karen says it hasn’t been an easy road but God always has a purpose for each life, and for Bella, it’s no different.

“What we may think as being our greatest burden frequently ends up being our greatest blessing. I wouldn’t trade Bella for anything in the world.”

Karen and Rick’s story is recounted in their book, Bella's Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation.

Key Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 4:7-11; Matthew 5:10-12

Theme Song: Whole Again by Lincoln Brewster

Highlight : Bella taught us to love

Lessons from Bella

One Response to "Lessons from Bella"

  • Cindy says:

    As the mother of a child with significant disabilities I appreciated your conversation with the Santorums. Their decision to care for Bella and the role that their faith plays in the process is inspiring.

    My husband and I also accepted the challenge of having our son live with us and providing him with the 24 hour care that he needs. And while it is true that we have learned much about submission and sacrifice, after 25 years of caring for our son we are also learning about God’s love for US. It is truly amazing to believe that God loves us as we prepare to send our child off to a long term care facility…but for me, it is a vivid example of the way that God’s grace works. At our very weakest point, when we admit to Him that things are hard and we need help, He meets us there and showers us (and our son) with His undeserved love and grace.

    I just wanted to share another part of the story.

    I love your show and it has often times provided me with spiritual nourishment. I pray that you are filled with God’s love for YOU as well!

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