SHARPSBURG, N.C. (WNCN) — A central North Carolina girl born with multiple rare diseases is proving that disabilities don’t hold her back. 

For Lara Brooks, life may be an uphill journey, but every step forward is reason to celebrate.

“She’s been defying odds since she was born,” said Brooks’ mom Rose Whitaker with pride in her voice.

Whitaker explained that seven-year-old Lara has multiple rare genetic conditions, including Triple X Syndrome, MIDAS Syndrome and agenesis of the corpus callosum. 

“Lara is legally deaf and legally blind. She also has some developmental delays. She didn’t start walking until December 31 of 2021,” explained Whitaker. “She just started saying ‘Mama’ October 6 last year.”

Lara follows her own timeline, but once she gets going, nothing stops her.

“When they say she can’t, she shows them that she can,” Whitaker said. 

Lara does it all with her biggest supporter by her side. Her mom says she’s been her daughter’s biggest advocate since before she was born. 

“Basically, told about 20 weeks, when she was in the womb, before she took her first breath, ‘Be prepared to put her in a home,'” Whitaker recalled.

Instead, she spends her days homeschooling Lara and making sure she gets to her medical appointments and therapies.

“Takes a toll, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Everything is a learning experience with Lara; she’s teaching me something every day,” she said. “Perserverance, determination, persistence.” 

Whitaker started the nonprofit “I Am Lara Foundation” to raise awareness of rare disease and children with special needs.

She says she’s in awe of her daughter. 

“Look at what God has done,” she said, beaming. “He’s still working miracles in her every day.”