LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Ainsley DeSonier was born with an extremely rare syndrome that has caused her to endure fifty surgeries over her 39 years of life.
Still, hers has been and is a life of much joy. Ainsley is in many ways confined to her body. Yet, inside is a prayer life dedicated to the needs of others. That's why Sister Mary Vianney Walsh nominated Ainsley for the Caritas award for selfless, Christian love.
"She's come to accept it that God has a plan for her. And she has a purpose. And in that plan, she's determined to give everything she can to everybody that needs her," said Walsh.
"What I feel with Ainsley is that she is a person who can pray and those prayers are very, very powerful," said Sister.
Also, Sister explains Ainsley loves and accepts herself according to Psalm 139 which says all are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Ainsley's mother, Dale DeSonier, says it's Ainsley's life verse.
"It changed the whole paradigm of how to raise Ainsley because that's truly how we felt. They were words to the feelings that we had about the gift of her life to her family. So we would voice that often," said Dale DeSonier.
"She has the capacity to accept and love herself because God has loved and accepted her," said Sister.
"That is a core belief that we all have to have before we can love another person," she said.
Ainsley uses sign language to communicate, but her smiles made it clear she was thrilled to receive the Caritas Award given to one who exemplifies a life of selfless giving.
"The Caritas award, the word Caritas, reflects a particular type of love and it's a love, you would say charity, but it's a love that is a selfless love," said Sister Mary Vianney.
A love that for Ainsley gives way to quiet moments of prayer for others.
At the same ceremony, State Senator Ronnie Johns was given the St. Peter Claver award for one who demonstrates particular concern for those in need. Johns has worked to assist victims of human trafficking, in part, by helping to establish a home for girls who have been victimized.