Beautiful Woman: A woman who represents the true beauty of devotionFargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Some people call it the most important quality you can possess: Inner Beauty. Something that never fades, and transcends age. It's what we are in search of as we at Forum Communications continue our special project, Beautiful Women.
By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Some people call it the most important quality you can possess: Inner Beauty. Something that never fades, and transcends age. It's what we are in search of as we at Forum Communications continue our special project, Beautiful Women.
Tonight you'll meet a Fargo woman who represents the true Beauty Of Devotion. She's Tammy Desautel, a mother who will inspire you.
Beautiful Women creators Bill Marcil Junior and Chris Linnares and our team went to Tammy's home recently to learn what those who know her already know, she is a Beautiful woman in every sense of the word.
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty Of Devotion: "Just her eyes, tell us everything."
As a parent, you have dreams for your child, sometimes before they're even born. For Tammy Desautel, those dreams changed in an instant. A single moment that changed every plan and expectation she once had.
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty Of Devotion: "She had a very traumatic brain injury. We didn't know if she would make it past a week. And so, the day we had to go home from the hospital without her was, that was, that's a tough one."
After a perfect pregnancy, Tammy's daughter Macy was without oxygen for 40 minutes when she was born after the umbilical cord separated from the placenta. Macy beat the odds just to survive.
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty of Devotion: "She was a fighter, from the minute she entered this world."
It's been a difficult journey at times, but Tammy says she finds her inspiration in her daughter .
Tammy: "She's just stronger than anyone I know."
"There you go, it's all you babe. C'mon, oh!"
Now 18, Macy lives an active life with cerebral palsy, involved in many activities, including a favorite, bowling with friends.
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty Of Devotion: "Macy's taught me patience, for other people, not necessarily for her but for other people and love, just unconditional love, we've been through a lot."
It's been a path that has turned this loving, devoted mother into an activist
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty Of Devotion: "Because the minute you tell me my daughter can't do something because of her disability, that's when Mama Bear's gonna come and and, just no."
Instead of wishing for changes to make her daughter's life better, she's made change. And not only for Macy, but for countless others, parents who need support and children and adults with special needs who are seeking acceptance or an opportunity.
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty Of Devotion: "They just want to be productive. We just want to be a part of society, of the community. That's all it boils down to."
Tammy helped launch the North Dakota parent to parent program, part of Family Voices of North Dakota. It links parents of children with disabilities, giving them a network of support.
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty Of Devotion: "When you're a parent of a child with a disability, in the beginning, you're not really focusing on the big picture, you're just trying to get through the day."
She serves on the North Dakota Council on Developmental Disabilities and is also part of the metro area mayor's committee that serves people with disabilities, all while holding down a full time job at Job Service North Dakota, and keeping Macy involved in typical teenage activities.
Ross DeSautel - Tammy's Husband/Nominator: "She's beautiful. She's caring. She's not only everything to me, she's a lot to everybody else."
Though it wasn't the life Tammy says she dreamed of or the one she would've chosen, she says she truly feels like this is the life she was meant to live and now holds on to a new dream for her and Macy.
Tammy DeSautel - Beauty Of Devotion: "And I know someday, she and I are going to have a big old conversation (laughs)."
You can hear much more about Tammy's story in tomorrow's Forum and don't wait to nominate the Beautiful Woman in your life so we can share her story. Just go to beautifulwomenof.areavoices.com for all of the information.