Mom threw away her wedding dress to cope with her daughter’s terminal illness

Brittany Lagarde always dreamed of her daughter’s wedding day, of her daughter walking down the aisle in her mother’s wedding dress.

This dream will not come true. This is why, in a TikTok video now viral and emotional which was posted earlier this month, Lagarde revealed to her followers that she threw away her wedding dress.

In the video – which has attracted more than 9 million views – Lagarde said her 8-year-old daughter, Sawyer, was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndromea type of infantile dementia, at the age of 2 years.

According to Sanfilippo.org.au, Sanfilippo syndrome – or mucopolysaccaridosis type III – is described as a rare genetic disease that causes brain damage. In most cases, children with this type of dementia never reach adulthood. There is no cure for Sanfilippo syndrome and, according to The National Organization for Rare Diseasesthose affected live on average between 15 and 20 years, but sometimes die before the age of 10. The treatment available is “symptomatic and supportive” to help manage children’s quality of life.

Lagarde revealed to Initiated that after her daughter was diagnosed, she and her husband took blood tests and learned that they each carried the gene responsible for Sanfilippo syndrome. According to Mount Sinai According to the health system, children of parents who carry the gene have a one in four chance of having Sanfilippo syndrome.

The couple learned of their daughter’s diagnosis while expecting their second child, Zion. Zion does not have Sanfilippo Syndrome but was diagnosed with autism when she was 4 years old.

In the TikTok VideoLagarde explained his actions.

“I threw away my wedding dress today. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Why would you do that?’ “, Lagarde said in the video. “We kept the dress with intentions that our daughter might want. To wear it someday or hear about our special day or play dress up with it. Sawyer doesn’t even know what a wedding dress is. My daughter has childhood Alzheimer’s and her life expectancy is in her mid to late teens, so she’s never going to get married, so what’s the point of keeping it?

Afterward, Lagarde spoke to Insider and said she had to let go of what she had dreamed of for so long for her daughter.

“Letting go was about enjoying the realistic expectations I had with her now and living for the everyday moments instead of having this cloud hanging over me that she didn’t would not marry. The wedding dress was a reminder of that,” Lagarde said.

When Lagarde married in 2011, she wore a strapless beaded dress she had found at a Wisconsin store after being returned to the store when another bride’s wedding was called off. When Lagarde tried on the dress, she said it fit her like a glove.

After receiving a ton of praise for her honesty about what she was going through, many TikTok users left comments asking why she didn’t donate her wedding dress. She replied in a tracking tiktok video on March 5 and said that at the time she did not know of any organizations like The Angel Dress Programwho accepts old wedding dresses to make funeral clothes for deceased babies.

But Lagarde told Insider she doesn’t regret her decision.

“I was thinking of throwing it away because I kept it in hopes that [Sawyer] would get married there one day, and that was not the reality,” Lagarde said. “I don’t regret throwing the dress away because I feel like it was what best suited my grieving process and my expectations.”

Lagarde said her daughter still had her speech and abilities when she was diagnosed, but that all changed when she turned 5. According to NORD, children with Sanfilippo syndrome typically lose speech and other cognitive functions, as well as motor skills.

“She lost her speech, and that’s when a lot of brain damage started,” she said. “She may have the cognitive ability of a 12 month old and she’s 8 years old. She can’t tell us what she wants or what she needs.”

Knowing what’s to come for his daughter, Lagarde has vowed to make every moment with Sawyer count and wants to continue sharing on social media what everyday life is like with Sawyer.

“I want to give people a safe place to know that it’s okay that sometimes life sucks,” Lagarde said. “I don’t know what Sawyer’s future will look like. I know it’s going to end, but I can’t think about it. I know it’s going to be okay, and that’s why letting my grief out has been the most helpful thing for me.

Find out more via Initiated.

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