An incredibly intelligent young girl, at the age of four, sits poised on the couch, book in hand, although she cannot read. She is ready to state her lines. Her puppy-eared ponytails sit high on her head. On cue, her huge blue eyes rise to meet the camera. It’s obvious she is a star, ready to light the way. But it hasn’t always been this way.
Her life, although only four years have passed into it, is a miracle in itself. When her mother was almost seven months pregnant, a truck running a red light slammed into the passenger side of the car without attempting to brake. The car spun completely around before it slid next to the signal pole. Frantic, her mother began to cry—thank God she had dropped her four-year-old son off moments before, for the hit was on his side, but what of her unborn daughter? What once had been moving every 10 minutes or so had stopped altogether.
The ambulance rushed the emergency room, where after an entire day of tests, and feeble movement her mother was released. Early labor seemed imminent until medication was prescribed to inhibit premature labor, so labor needed to be induced on her birthday, July 24, 2006.
The mother was in the hospital delivery room, alone, when the labor started. When Danika Aspen Brewer was born, she was a beautifully perfect girl, but her mother called her Nikki! Big blue eyes and blond hair with a voice that wouldn’t be silenced—from the get-go!
The accident had a tremendous impact as the mother’s fiancé, Dan K. Anderson (whom Danika was named after), decided he wanted no part of a woman with back issues, as she could no longer participate in a normal life. The two children were tossed into their mother’s arms and sent away. Her university studies were abandoned after attempting to return to school numerous times, but unable to withstand the pain. The job she held needed to be replaced with something more suitable, but each time one was accomplished, she was eventually let go due to too many doctor and therapy appointments.
After two years of struggles, living off of whatever monies the mother had managed to save or invest, the three of them had nowhere to go. They ended up, by the saving grace of God, at a sheltering facility entitled Family Promise. While there, Nikki contracted lice from one of her new friends. The infestation was not something her mother was familiar with, but nonetheless she acquired a prescription and commenced to apply it to her two-year-olds head. Sitting in the bathtub, little Nikki screamed profusely for ten minutes as she awaited the solution to do its job. As her mother began to pick it with the little tools, she realized the treacherous impact the solution had, and why her daughter had been screaming—her scalp was red and blistered. There was no way her mother could use the pick on her head. The final option was to shave her bald. Because her mother couldn’t bear for her little girl to endure it alone, she shaved her own head as well.
The next few months were horrific, as children rejected Nikki on the playground, and mothers would pull their children away as they whispered and pointed at the girl and matching bald mother. Her mother was unable to pick up or carry anything over 15 lbs. so Nikki had no one to help her climb the monkey bars or play tag… While brother was in school, she was lonely.
Four years later, almost to the day, a settlement was found. It was just enough to cover all of the expenses and provide them a place to live for the next year. Everything seemed okay. But then, another gap widened in front of them. Her mother could barely climb the stairs and was often unable to attend the church services, which gave them all a sense of peace—and their year-long lease was about up.
Little Nikki, who was used to pretending, and even managed to pull a few fast ones on her mother, spouted out something so surprising it stunned everyone! “I want to be in movies!” Granted, all children have been known to say this at one time or another in their childhoods, but there was something in her eyes when she said it; a special gleam. Her older brother, now nine, was determined to work in a science lab for NASA when he grew up, and had the grades to prove it. But as much as the children loved each other, they were as different as night and day.
Suddenly, it didn’t seem that odd. Her mother looked at her and watched how she behaved for about a month, deciding if that was the best choice. After all, there are so many ugly Hollywood stories ranging from the Culkins to the Olsen twins, but there were good ones too!
Her mother finally decided she was going to support her daughter in her dreams of stardom! Unlike her own parents, she would support her children in their goals instead of dampening them by quoting the odds of doom.
So, here is Danika Aspen Brewer! Smarter than smart…. Quicker than quick…. And much brighter than the next star! The name Danika means “Morning Star,” and she is one!
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