Shayna Brumbalough’s 11-year-old daughter Olivia is like many girls her age, athletic and extremely dedicated to the teams she plays on. She is so dedicated to any sports team she is on that Olivia had broken her ankle multiple times, even to the point to where she was currently on an orthotic until she regained her strength.
A kind soul, Olivia looks out for her younger brother who has autism. In addition, the pre-teen is an incredibly talented photographer like her mom and an artist. So, what happened on a recent visit to the doctor’s office left her devastated. Fortunately, through the love and support of her loving mom, Olivia was able to rise above adversity and regain her confidence.
Your Typical 11-Year-Old
Full of confidence, young Olivia believes in herself and idolizes the singer Pink. She even had her hair cut short, just like her favorite singer for her birthday in 2018. Olivia’s mom was so happy to see her daughter come into her own. And even though she got some backlash for her haircut, leading her mom to switch schools, Olivia was able to thrive upon finding herself once again in a thriving, learning environment.
A Day with Mom
One week, Olivia developed a rash. In an attempt to make sure it was nothing serious, Shayna set an appointment with her doctor for later that day. Until then though, the two spent some mother/daughter time together, playing dress up and taking photos. They even watched some TV together, snuggling under the covers, before leaving for the doctor.
A Routine Trip to the Doctor
Once at the doctor, Olivia ended up getting a physical where she learned she had grown to 5-feet tall and weighed in at 117 pounds, which is at the top end of the normal for a girl her age. The doctor need up giving Olivia a prescription for her rash and left the room. Before he could get the door all the way shut he turned back into the room.
Bad Bedside Manner
In a show of horrible bedside manner, the doctor, in front of Olivia and her brother, said to her mom, “We need to talk about her weight. We live in America where 80% of us don’t eat the best and don’t exercise enough, and I believe she’s part of that crowd. She needs to be in sports.” Looking at Olivia, the doctor further added, “I think you are old enough to start using exercise equipment too.”
Olivia and her mom sat there for a second, their mouths open in shock. The doctor, who for his part seemed unaware of his poor bedside manner, added, “You should probably not allow her to drink sugary drinks or eat junk food.
For her part, Olivia’s mom was disgusted. She looked at the doctor and said to him, “She’s in sports. She’s on injury restriction right now due to multiple ankle breaks.”
The doctor, still unaware of the damage he was doing, simply replied, “Oh, that’s right, you just said that,” before leaving the room. It was too late at this point as Olivia’s self-esteem was in tatters.
Some Words of Wisdom from Mom
She simply looked at her mom, tears running down her face. “I’m fat,” she asked. Her mom could tell that her poor heart was broken.
Filled with rage, Shayna called her fiancé. He reacted with rage, asking “Olivia? Our Olivia?” Even the nurse who walked in afterwards to give Olivia a flu shot was shocked and began to apologize immediately.
Taking Some Inspiring Photos
Olivia, her spirit crushed, seemed on a downward spiral. For her part, Shayna tried to lift up her daughter’s broken spirit to no avail. Her doctor had done seemingly irreparable harm. Shayna decided to keep Olivia out of school the next day to compose herself after her horrible ordeal.
During this time, Shayna sat her daughter down and told her, “Are you going to let someone else, ANYONE else, decide how you feel about yourself?”
Olivia looked at her mother and gave a quite no. So, Shayna made Olivia look her in the eyes before repeating what she had said. Shayna saw something click in her daughters eyes, as the light of self confidence rushed back into her, not as strong as before, but still there all the same.
The pair decided to do an anti-bullying photo shoot. Brainstorming, they came up with an amazing idea. Using her photographic skills, Shayna took some pictures of her daughter erasing the stigma of her BMI off of herself.
Olivia Is Incredibly Strong
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According to Olivia’s mom, “She’s so incredibly strong. I cannot wait to see where her life takes her, because let me tell you, it’s going to be far. And if ever she falls, I’ll be right there to pick her up and remind her of just how strong, beautiful and amazing she truly is.”