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I'm Carmen Veal! I'm 28, African American who loves too much, does what I truly love, and looks for beauty in all things.

I had my daughter Sania a few months shy of my 18th birthday. I didn't recognize this decision as one that would impact my life, as it was a norm that I had been exposed to while growing up. I entered adulthood rather swiftly, working a full time job, having my own apartment, car...and a dream deferred...becoming a fashion designer and seamstress. I also had a family to support.

Little did I know, my life was gearing up to enter a reality I did not anticipate.

My daughter was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. She began to regress, losing all the skills a mainstream child possesses...speaking, social abilities, walking without assistance, etc. She lost everything. To further complicate things, she developed a seizure disorder. All of this lead to me shutting the outside world out of our lives for a full year.

Then one day I woke up. I developed the courage to no longer feel sorry for myself and the way I was brought up. And do things that would not only make me happy but, would assist others who were fighting my own battle. This was my turning point.

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