SPRING, Texas - Jette Marie Vasquez wasn’t expected to live past a year, much less walk on her own. Just days ago, Jette Marie did the impossible, and it was all caught on video.
“If I could describe my daughter in one word, it's tenacious,” Kendall Leanos said.
Jette Marie, 5, was born to defy the odds. Part of what she has normally results in death in infancy, meaning the children don't make it one year.
The kindergartener at Kreinhop Elementary in Spring has a rare chromosomal arrangement.
Leanos says her little girl’s been checking off the list of all the things she was never expected to do.
Initially, she wasn't supposed to roll over, and she would never speak.
“But I felt like I could push her and push myself and we could do things. And we could just try and try and try. And, if she never gave up, I was never going to give up,” Leanos said.
And last Wednesday, Jette Marie proved she’s not giving up. With the help of her teacher, Dominique Andrews, she took her first steps all on her own.
“I said, ‘Let's go, Jette,’ and she just stood up and walked, and it was amazing,” Andrews said. “I've always known Jette had the determination and the will, and so I think it's been in her all along and she just needed that push, and now we're just at that. It's just building her confidence. I really do think that by the end of this year, she'll have it.”
“To go from a down position to a standing position to walking across to Ms. Andrews was momentous, that's amazing. We never thought that was going to be able to happen and it did and so largely in part to Ms. Andrews,” Leanos told FOX 26 reporter Maria Salazar.
Leanos says she wanted to share her daughter’s story, because she wants other parents of children with rare conditions to know there’s support out there.
“There are other people, there are avenues, there are groups, there are people that understand exactly what they're going through,” she says. “The day that you doubt and then the next day it's here it is, here's the miracle you were doubting and don't doubt.”
Andrews and Leanos believe fate brought them together.
Andrews was Jette’s first therapist when she was three months old.
She worked with her a couple of times, and when she realized Jette was going to be her student, Andrews says she knew this is where God wants her to be.