Putting myself Together...

Very long

Almost 2 weeks ago I posted about having a craptastic wardrobe.

From that moment until this I’ve given myself a make over for our new journey and my return to work. Many know my daughter was diagnosed with one of the rarest viruses in the world AFM Acute (suddenly and immediate) Flaccid (limp body and internal organs) Myelitis (swelling in the back and spine) on January 20,2020. Zi’Joy lost control and function of her body from the waist down.

My priority has only been for my rainbow baby who is almost 3 and her healing and all of her Drs/Physical/Occupational therapy and counseling appointments. My craptastic mom wardrobe was severely lacking and I was showing signs of just not caring about myself. As one YLF Family said you are experiencing an emotional trauma.

I decided to do a major overhaul of my wardrobe and it helped that we are moving so I decided to see what works for my life now and work life when I return from UnPaid FMLA. My body is not what it used to be and I’ve put on some weight that has come with stress eating.

I bagged up 5 large trash bags for donation things that I did not love or were not used in my life . 2 bags went to the trash can the others to my local donation center. I went through all of my footwear and did the same.

Next I made a list of what I needed what would serve me and moving forward what our days are like . Sitting waiting bending standing riding in long car rides for appointments meetings etc etc i did the same for work.

I set my budget lord sometimes you have to treat yourself. The good news for me is I’m a multiples person. If I see something and it looks good I buy in 2 or 5 different colors. Cause it’s easier.

I went to Walmart, Citi Trends, Rainbow and The local Thrift store because I did not have to think to hard or go to other stores with list in hand.

(These were all serviceable items)

1) 5 parirs of jeggings (different colors)

2)6 pairs of jeans for work
(the seat and thighs wear out over time)

3) 4 pairs of athletic bottoms 2 calf length and 2 floor length (for OT & PT)

4) foundational garments
4 sports bras
2 regular bras
20 new pairs of socks

*Rainbow and Citi trends
(My fun Flair)

1) 2 sweat tops (zip up red and yellow)

2) 3 Afrocentric tops (graphic tee shirts)

3) 5 dresses ( all cute and seasonless)

4). 1 skirt and 1 top with flair.
(Would have bought multiple but they were sold out in my size)

*Thrift Shopping
(My Frugal Style)

1) 2 sweater dresses (multiple different colors)

2) Wool sweater coat (So warm perfect for car rides and travel transitions to car parking lots and hospital visits when lugging a toddler around.

3) a pair of new boots from jambo. An excellent line of footwear my size. Looking for more retail $140 paid $12.99

I carry a military style backpack that I’ve had sense Zi’Joy was born and it serves me very well I can be hands free to hold little ones hands.

This is my form of Athlisure Style and part updated Grunge look that I rocked in the 90s. I threw away all of my pregnancy leggings except for one pair I wear around the house.

We got some great news about Zi’Joy she will never be fully rid of AFM she is 1 of 900 cases world wide and 1 in a million she is a medical Miracle and her leading Neurologist in this Field says she is the the top 5% of recovery. The best she has ever seen. Shriners Children's Hospital is on Wednesday so hoping they will take our case.

This was a fun post and thank you for reading

Mama Donna.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    Z’Joy is so fortunate to have a warrior for her mom to help her see strength and joy in difficulty. You need to be a rainbow for your little one and are on the right track.

  • Jane replied 1 year ago

    Really beautiful photos. Zi’Joy looks so happy and so stylish! So good to hear. You have heaps and heaps of resolve and resilience.

    Love the looks of 4 and 17 the best. But they are all fab.

  • slim cat replied 1 year ago

    Great pictures - looking fierce and stylish!

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 year ago

    There s  that smile again ,so good to see.Both of you are looking fierce!

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    It’s so wonderful to see Zi laughing like that. Love that expression she’s making in 3. You look great. Your grunge style is awesome, esp with the head wraps and that plaid! I miss Rainbow. I’m thrilled to hear it lives on!

  • Brooklyn replied 1 year ago

    Wonderful photos. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself as well as your beautiful daughter. Good luck to you both.

  • Style Fan replied 1 year ago

    Wonderful that you are taking care of yourself.  Zi'Joy is a warrior just like her mother.

  • Zaeobi replied 1 year ago

    Just wanted to say that you may not be feeling like you're still your stylish self with everything going on these days, but I see you rocking those glasses! You haven't lost your old self, it's just that your priorities have understandably shifted - be kind to yourself during these trying times & make sure to take your time getting back into your style. There's no rush!

  • Liesbeth replied 1 year ago

    I'm so glad that your daughter is doing so much better. You deserved a treat. I love that skirt, and that plaid shirt. Your hair looks amazing too.

  • Helena replied 1 year ago


    Amazing Donna! That news about Zi'Joy is so wonderful. What a little trooper she has been.

    You've definitely found your mojo again ... You look amazing, practical but also with your personal, colourful stamp of individuality. Great job!!! I love your process too - how you thought out which stores would best meet which needs, and how your wardrobe breaks down into your practical base and stylish flair. Very inspiring!

  • suntiger replied 1 year ago

    You and Zi made my day :) You look like you're having so much fun, and love that skirt especially!

  • avicennia replied 1 year ago

    Momma Donna — these photos brought tears to my eyes this morning. Yes this is a bona fide trauma for both of you, but one that you, the warrior momma, are fully equal to. I’m glad to hear that Zi’Joy has the leading specialist on her team. So sorry to hear about that unpaid FMLA. Another fight for another day. You look great. So many wonderful looks to chose from, but I love the matching black t-shirts.

  • avicennia replied 1 year ago

    PS: the red shirt layered over the leopard print is smashing!

  • April replied 1 year ago

    Rooting for you, LeDonna!  And for Zi'Joy's health - her wardrobe looks pretty great already.  :)

  • Eliza replied 1 year ago

    Look at how far you two have come. So much to manage and how these pictures capture strength and hope.  Well done across all parameters. Glad you feel more sorted with your wardrobe; must make every day that much easier. Looking good! Happy to hear that Zi'Joy is doing so well; comfort to both of you. 

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    You both look fab - picture 1 says it all! Great to see Zi'Joy back on her feet.

  • Chris987 replied 1 year ago

    You are incredible! So glad you and Z'i'Joy are making progress, and now Zi'Joy (and you) are leading the pack in terms of recovery from this awful illness. So glad too that you took a little time for yourself. In addition to doing something good for yourself, you are demonstrating to your daughter how important self-care is, especially in times of difficulty. Kids learn by what they see their parents doing. She may not be aware that she is seeing that lesson in action but it will stay with her.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    So so happy for you and Zi’Joy that she is doing so well. I’m sure in part because you were on it in a second and kept looking for a diagnosis. And because you’re both so full of life!!

  • karen13 replied 1 year ago

    Thank you so much for the update and I’m overjoyed that it is good news for Z. And that you are finding a little room for self care of any kind. You both look amazing. Your smiles are the best!

  • Jenn replied 1 year ago

    You look fantastic LeDonna. This is just proof that you set your mind to something and you DO IT.  It's no wonder Zi'Joy is doing so well.  She has to have picked up some of your grit and determination.

    (I love your whole look in #17 especially)

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    *happy dance*

    Zi'Joy is YOUR fighting, stylish, fun, super cute, and strong daughter, Ledonna! It brings tears to my eyes. You reap the seeds you sow. TEAMWORK and it shows. Much love to both of you. xo

  • kkards replied 1 year ago

    it looks like Zi'Joy is living up to her name, she seems to radiant happiness in these pictures.
    you are looking like a fearless warrior, really to do battle for you little one. 
    thanks for the update

  • cindysmith replied 1 year ago

    That's the smiling LaDonna I know and love, and beautiful little Zi'Joy <3

  • The Cat replied 1 year ago

    I am so glad to hear the great news about your cute and brave little daughter, and to see these--fun as well as touching--photos of the two of you. Warm thoughts and wishes from me.

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    So very very happy to see Zi’Joy upright. And then to hear how well she is doing. I know the road ahead is long but so much better than (at least I) first feared.

    I am so impressed that along with giving her the intensive care she needs, you cleared out your closet, analyzed what you needed, and purchased a new wardrobe. In such a short time.

    Continuing to send prayers for healing.

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    I swear the past 40 something days have been a chaotic whirlwind and I needed to get my feet steady. Thank you all for the motivation and kind words. I’ve been reading YLF when Zi’Joy naps or we are in between appointments and you all are so great I get to read about things I love and people we have shared our lives with for years .

    I’ve read every comment. But I’m so tired today our day started at 4:30 for Shriners Children's Hospital Chicago

    February 26,2020
    Shriners Children’s Hospital Chicago
    Zi’Joy & MaMa Donna
    AFM Acute Flaccid Myelitis

    Onset January 10,2020
    Continued treatment and rehabilitation
    One Tired Toddler & Mama.

    SHRINERS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IN CHICAGO WAS AMAZING. THIS IS HOW HOSPITALS AND INSURANCE SHOULD WORK. Everything on site in house and the best experts. From the experts on the phone to the front desk to registration to information desk to security to patient advocate to Chaplin to counselors to nurses to Interns to exoteric neurologists to physiological counselors to orthopedic experts to check out to next schedule visits.

    2 weeks from now to get Zi’Joys orthopedic AFO Ankle Foot Orthopedic braces.

    A long but full and beautiful and day. There are no words. Erasing all of the negative experiences with everyone now. We are Home and Family at Shriners. Simply AMAZING

    The dress I’m wearing is the same as in Picture 17 they were hanging side by side in the thrift store a block away from my home. I wanted to look pulled together for our Drs visits 4 this week 2 down 2 more to go. All worth it.

    Mama Donna

  • Mainelady replied 1 year ago

    Awesome Mamma, I am so glad your sweet Zi’Joy is doing better and defying the odds!  You, Warrior Mom, are teaching her what love, strength and courage look like. Your smiling faces warm me to my very soul. You are fierce and fashionable!  

  • catherine replied 1 year ago

    Your strength shows through. Love the new wardrobe. You’re making the difference for your daughter.

  • Debbie replied 1 year ago

    You look
    Great. The wardrobe make over was good for the soul.
    Keep fighting and reach out when needed.

  • shevia replied 1 year ago

    I am so glad that you and ZJ are getting the hospital/medical care you deserve. You are both absolute warrior angels for fighting through this awful disease and coming out stronger than ever. I was so happy to read how well her treatment/recovery is going. You both are amazing. 

  • lyn67 replied 1 year ago

    Happy DD  is doing better -it has to be so awfully  hard for you- but  looking fab,  both! Love Zion's  hair!!:-)

  • Marilyn replied 1 year ago

    This was SO nice to read, Donna.  You look FANTASTIC and Z'joy is the most stylish little girl ever, as always. :)

    It's only natural that you'd fall into a slump with everything you've been through.  I'm so happy that life is starting to look brighter for the two of you.  Hang in there!

  • Diana replied 1 year ago

    You look great!  And I'm so thrilled to hear how well Z'J is doing!  She's truly a fighter and a miracle.

  • CocoLion replied 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing all of these joyous pictures.  So much style and sass.  You and Zi'Joy are an inspiration to behold!

  • deb replied 1 year ago

    Both of you are so darn cute!!!

  • SW Ann replied 1 year ago

    I have been praying that you and Zi'Joy would be helped by Shriner's Hospital.....and LeDonna, you are amazing!! You win the Mom Award for persistence and toughness....Best to you both.

  • columbine(erin) replied 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures! I’ll be praying for you two.

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    I’m humbled by all of your kind words, thoughts and encouragement. This has certainly been a life altering journey which could have been much worse. I’m humbled and thankful for our YLF family over the years but especially now.

    You know my clothing is my armor and I did not feel ready to face this new world but now I feel as if I am inside and out. My goal is to remain flexible. I’ve put together a uniform of sorts so I don’t have to think about what to wear

    I have those for Drs visits, Therapy, everyday life and running errands and everything works together. I’m less stressed and can focus on Zi’Joy.

    Again thank you all so much

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