LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Learning to sit up on her own was a blessing for one-year-old Honor who was born with a defect that will affect her for the rest of her life. Honor is paralyzed from the waist down and is teaching East Texans to cherish things that are taken for granted each day.
During the seventeenth week of pregnancy Lauren Tinsley knew her daughter would be born with the neural tube defect spina bifida.
"Nobody really wanted me to have her and nobody really understood why I wanted to keep my baby," Tinsley said. "I was offered to abort my baby at 20 weeks because she has a defect."
Honor will be affected by this for the rest of her life.
"Her spinal column just didn't close and when she was born she had a huge mass on her back and had to have back surgery at 24 hours old," Tinsley said. "She's paralyzed from her waist down. Everything inside of her doesn't work. A lot of her major organs don't work correctly but her heart works amazingly."
Those complications are certainly not a downfall for Honor and her fighting spirit.
"Lauren is so positive about it and that has an effect on Honor," Tara Fuller said. "She's so happy."
Honor has become a fitting name for the happy baby.
"I just felt like it was going to be a good name for my baby. It means to regard with great respect, which after I found out she was going to have a birth defect that's kind of one of those things that went through my mind was how are people going to treat her," Tinsley said.
The single mother is hoping to raise enough money for Honor's $20,000 stem cell transplant.
"Her kidneys should still be like brand new because she's 14 months old but her kidneys aren't. They're not brand new; she has bad kidneys and that's the number one cause for death for kids with spina bifida is kidney failure," Tinsley said.
Honor's happiness is touching the lives of many including Tara Fuller from San Augustine who has been following the Lufkin survivor's life on Facebook.
In efforts to help raise money she started a "walk of Honor" fundraiser this summer.
"It feels nice to be able to help someone and know that they truly need it and truly appreciate it," Fuller said.
All of the monetary gifts and prayers Honor has been receiving remind Tinsley how thankful she is to raise her daughter in East Texas where she is loved.
The 5k walk/run for Honor will be Saturday, July 20, 2013 at Mission Dolores in San Augustine at 8 a.m.
You can support and follow Honor's journey on her Facebook page.