You Don’t Know How Tough You Are Until It Gets Tough


I was planning to share a kids activity on the blog today because it was something I’d already prepared and had succumbed to yet another cold (why does it always happen during holidays?) I also took a pretty nasty fall down a flight of timber stairs at my parents house and so I’m nursing my aches and pains.

While resting up on the couch last night, I was watching 60 minutes and a story about a disease called Progeria. This disease makes children age at 80 times the normal rate, it stiffens their blood vessels and causes heart problems and other problems old people face like dislocation of joints.

Tara Brown spoke with a gorgeous 17-year-old girl named Hayley who is the oldest sufferer of Progeria. Hayley is just like any other 17 year old. She loves boy bands and music but her mother always wonders how much longer she’s going be around.

Tara also spoke to a wonderful doctor, Doctor Lesley Gordon, who is on a mission to find a cure for the disease. She’s already found a way to make the Progeria sufferers blood vessels less stiff which is a great start. Dr. Gordon’s passion and determination to fight this disease was amazing because she had just lost her 16-year-old son to the disease, so her fight meant even more.

One thing Dr. Gordon said really answered a question I have always asked myself, “Would I be able to cope if my child was struck with a serious illness or disease?”  I’ve never thought I’d be able to cope or find the inner strength needed and have always had the belief that there are special people put on this world that are able to handle challenges like this in life, not everyone can.

Dr. Gordon made this statement that really got me thinking:

“You don’t know how tough you are until it gets tough. You don’t matter, only the child matters and you will pull everything out of yourself and keep on going.”

This statement was so important to hear because as parents, whether it be in everyday parenting or through really serious and tough challenges, we always seem to doubt our abilities.

And as for these truly amazing children and parents in this story, well, they have inspired me and most certainly made me very thankful for the healthy child I have.

Here’s a shortened version of the story:

Image from Alvimann on

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman. She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a freelance writer, a social media manager, a Mum to her six-year-old son, one-year-old daughter, six chickens and Benny the dog and wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little worker's cottage in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

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  1. April 20, 2014 / 8:38 pm

    I also had the belief that I wouldn’t be able to cope or be strong if something happened to my child/ren, but then it happened and you just have to deal with it, it becomes second nature. Its still hard but it becomes the ‘norm’. My favourite quote is ‘you never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have’. Great post 🙂

  2. April 20, 2014 / 10:34 pm

    Hi Eva – I thought I would join in, if you’ll have me?
    Hope your Easter is going well! xx

  3. April 20, 2014 / 11:07 pm

    What an amazing story this was. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard dealing with this illness would be on families. Hope you’re feeling ok after your fall!!! xxx

  4. April 20, 2014 / 11:35 pm

    It is a natural instinct as a mother we would do anything for our children. These types of stories really do make you so grateful for what you have. You are right we absolutely need to stop doubting ourselves although it is hard to put into practice. I hope you are feeling better after your fall. Hope you enjoyed Easter Eva ! x

  5. April 20, 2014 / 11:46 pm

    Hi Eva I left a comment with google commenting system and it seems to have gone. A story that puts things into perspective. I hope you feel better after your fall. Your new page looks great !

  6. April 20, 2014 / 11:53 pm

    Thank you! My Disqus disappeared overnight and I had to put it back on, so the google comments are in a merging queue and should appear soon. It sure did put things into perspective. I’m feeling sore but it could have been much much worse! Thanks, I’m love my new page too! x

  7. April 21, 2014 / 1:03 am

    What a powerful story and a powerful statement from Dr Gordon. It is so true that you never really know how strong you are until you are truly tested – then I think most of us surprise ourselves.

  8. April 21, 2014 / 1:14 am

    I missed 60 minutes last night, but will certainly check out this story. It’s very true, until you are faced with a challenging situation, you really don’t know how you will respond to it, you just know that you will. xx

  9. Sandie @ AppleBee Lane
    April 21, 2014 / 3:56 am

    I watched the same program and it was so touching … sometimes we find strength that we never knew we had!

  10. Alicia-OneMotherHen
    April 21, 2014 / 10:42 am

    Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful story. I don’t usually watch 60 minutes so I missed this. How exciting Dr Gordon is making headway with her research.

  11. April 21, 2014 / 10:56 am

    Its true that you don’t know until something happens. I ended up having a child with extreme food allergies. Everybody keeps telling me how strong I am to be able to deal with her allergies each day, but to be honest I don’t see it that way. It’s just my life. It has to be done to keep her alive so its what I do. When it comes to your children you will do anything for them.

  12. April 22, 2014 / 1:08 am

    As a special needs mother, I can attest to the fact that the strength does come. It has to. You don’t have any choice in the matter. Sometimes this lack of choice gets overwhelming, but you can only soldier on. You’ll never know how lucky you are to have ‘normal’ children. I am jealous. xS

  13. Zita @ It's time...
    April 22, 2014 / 8:40 am

    I watched that as well and was totally moved by it and in awe of those 2 mothers that they interviewed… I think it is true “you don’t know how tough you are until tough is all you have!”
    Hope your aches and pains are feeling better

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    September 7, 2015 / 1:57 am

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