Kelly Vurinaris is an international, bestselling children’s book author. But first and foremost, she is mom to beautiful 6-year-old daughter, Zoe, who was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare craniofacial syndrome that affects the formation of the ears, eyelids, cheek bones, and jawbones. Because Zoe was also born with microtia and atresia, her ears are underdeveloped and she has to wear a cochlear hearing aid.
While Zoe has a lot to deal with and may look different from other kids, she is just like anyone else her age. Kelly shares that Zoe is “as smart as a whip,” and the most “caring, empathetic, strong, brave, and awesome girl ever!” She loves to play with her friends and is always making new ones. She loves to sing, dance, play the piano, and dress up as Elsa from Frozen!
It’s no wonder that Zoe inspired her to write her first children’s books, Hi, I’m Me and Hi, I’m Me in Kindergarten, where Kelly shares the experiences her daughter and family go through in their everyday life and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Whether it’s dealing with someone staring in the store, or interacting with classmates at school; as a mom, you want to be there to protect your child, even though that’s not always possible. That’s why Kelly believes in teaching kids that if you use your voice, your undiscovered confidence will shine through. Kelly saw the transformation firsthand with Zoe and how, by learning to use her voice, she could control the outcome of a situation and be the confident, outgoing and empowered little girl she is – and that all kids deserve to be.