EARLY YEARS: Roanoke County mom of three says counseling is helping her cope with child’s chronic condition

For Meredith Burrow, raising her nine-year- old daughter, Meg, has been a labor of love
Meredith Burrow says other parents of children with chronic conditions shouldn't hesitate asking for help
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 5:51 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Meg Burrow is the queen of her castle, having a blast in her playhouse on a beautiful summer morning.

The nine-year-old who loves to play has also had an uphill climb.

“She has a rare genetic condition called CTBP-1, where she is the 13th person in the world to be diagnosed with it,” says Meg’s mom, Meredith Burrow.

Burrow has shared her family’s journey on the Facebook page, “Mountains for Meg.”

Meg’s condition is progressive, and severely affects her mobility and speech. But clearly, NOT her spirit. Soon, the third grader with a megawatt smile will take on a new challenge. She’s scheduled to have a full spinal fusion surgery this fall to help with another condition, severe scoliosis.

“Within the past couple of years, she’s definitely lost a lot of muscle in her legs. So, we’re hoping that maybe fixing the curve in her back will give us a little bit more room to gain on muscle growth there,” says Burrow.

Through all the ups and downs, Burrow has stayed strong for her family. But eventually, she realized that she needed help, too.

“One thing I’ve done this year, thanks to a really sweet friend of mine, is start counseling. I needed to take care of my mental health. It was taking a toll on me and I needed someone to talk to. I needed that outlet. I needed someone that wasn’t with me every day or not talk to be every day. I needed that person to just hear me out,” says Burrow.

Her advice for other parents of kids battling chronic conditions: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Counseling, Burrow says, helps her overcome the rough days and prepare for new challenges.

“And what I want people to know is it’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of taking care of yourself and actually being strong so you can take care of other people, as well. We have our good days and our bad days, and my motto is five minutes at a time,” says Burrow.