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'Sniff mom' shares new life

The woman known as "the sniff mom" who made national headlines more than a decade ago is reassuring pregnant teens not to worry, everything happens for a reason.

"Not everyone here will have an easy life," Miss G told a teen parenting group at a North End church.

They'd just watched a video showing her 15 years ago, pregnant and wrecked on sniffing glue, in a court battle with child welfare authorities who wanted her ordered into treatment for the sake of her unborn child. Child and Family Services told her the baby she was carrying would end up "a vegetable in a wheelchair."

Now, sober and religious with her healthy 14-year-old son at her side, she came to share her story of hope with young expectant mothers.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/6/2011 (2291 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The woman known as "the sniff mom" who made national headlines more than a decade ago is reassuring pregnant teens not to worry, everything happens for a reason.

"Not everyone here will have an easy life," Miss G told a teen parenting group at a North End church.

Miss G is clean and sober and lives with her healthy 14-year-old son. But in 1996, when she was pregnant with him, officials fought to force her into addictions treatment.

JOHN.WOODS@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Miss G is clean and sober and lives with her healthy 14-year-old son. But in 1996, when she was pregnant with him, officials fought to force her into addictions treatment.

They'd just watched a video showing her 15 years ago, pregnant and wrecked on sniffing glue, in a court battle with child welfare authorities who wanted her ordered into treatment for the sake of her unborn child. Child and Family Services told her the baby she was carrying would end up "a vegetable in a wheelchair."

Now, sober and religious with her healthy 14-year-old son at her side, she came to share her story of hope with young expectant mothers.

"God always prepares something good," she told them and their volunteer mentors at the program run by Youth for Christ.

Miss G told them about being threatened by johns when she was an addict working the streets and about abusive relationships with some of the fathers of the five kids she's now raising as a single parent. She sobbed when she spoke about her mom's death when she was just 11 and never being close to her dad and 10 siblings. Miss G said she missed out on learning important life skills.

"I had no support."

But there is hope for the girls listening. This teen parenting program aims to provide support to help these young mothers continue with their studies and succeed in life, the kind of support Miss G never had, said program director Sherri Miller.

For Miss G, the sharing was part of her healing. For the pregnant teens, it was one more voice encouraging them. The teen parenting group has run for 10 years, generally meeting weekly during the school year, where the young women learn about budgeting, cooking and parenting.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Carol Sanders.

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