Girl Born With Brain Malformation Celebrates Bat Mitzvah

The girl, given a life expectancy of three years at birth, celebrated her 12th birthday with family and caregivers

A 12-year-old girl born with a degenerative brain malformation was given a traditional bat mitzvah, complete with unicorns and rainbow cupcakes.

Numa Beron was born with Lissencephaly, and she spends much of her time at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Her condition is degenerative and she is unable to speak or stand.

However, when she was wheeled into the Medical Center Chapel, her eyes lit up at what she saw.

Numa's family and caregivers threw her a bat mitzvah, a traditional coming-of-age party for Jewish girls. The celebration was complete with cake and balloons, and Numa's parents helped her lay her hands on the Beron family Torah scroll.

Numa's mother, Ilina, said she was told at birth that Numa had a life expectancy of three years.

"By grace of God we are here and celebrating this miracle and this beautiful day," Ilina said.

Ramona Abney, Numa's nurse in the Cedars-Sinai Pediatric ICU, said the caregivers at the center have become very close with Numa and her family during the time she has spent there.

"We love her, we love her family," Abney said. "I told [Ilina] just recently they really are kind of like family members."

Ilina said she has learned much from her daughter.

"Numa has taught us about love, about strength, about perseverance," Ilina said. "She is a fighter, and we are here to support her journey and learn from her."

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