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February cover model Emily Keicher, 3 Born with spina bifida
Everything about Emily sparkles, from her shiny gold walker to her bright smile to the mad dancing skills she brought to our photo session. But the glow really comes from within. Emily's mom, Elizabeth, told Parents at our shoot that one of the hardest things about being the parent of a child with a disability is when people stare from afar. Your child feels that stare. Elizabeth likes the approach little children take when they see Emily -- they're curious, not judgmental, and they start a conversation. The condition Emily has, spina bifida, affects one in 2,500 children. It damages the nerves and spine and often causes learning disabilities. There's lots more we can all learn about this and other disabilities if, like kids, we just ask.
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