Moms are traditionally thought of as the caregivers, but Bridget Leonard fully admits that it’s her husband, Jarrod, who’s taken on that primary role for their daughter ChyAnn, 17, who has lupus nephritis.
“He’s the one who has taken her to all of her appointments. He’s the one who doesn’t want to leave her side in the hospital,” she says. For Jarrod, it’s simple: “She’s my little girl. I have to take care of her.”
The thought of all that ChyAnn has gone through since she was diagnosed almost 10 years ago moves Jarrod to tears. And seeing her dad cry over his little girl makes ChyAnn’s eyes well up.
But their bond isn’t all about ChyAnn’s health challenges. They laugh – a lot – at the same sorts of little things that no one but them finds funny. They like to play games together and go shopping – especially for some new cool kicks, which they both collect. Along the way, Jarrod prepares ChyAnn for bad guys and heartbreak.
“I was a young man once, so I know,” Jarrod says. “I want to make sure she knows what to look out for. I want to make sure my little girl is protected in every way.”
- What he loves most about his daughter: “She’s so beautiful and strong. She inspires me.”
- What he wants for her: “Good health and a long life.”
Photo by Lauren Jeziorski
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