Ciara Martinez tells Yahoo Parenting that she will “fight the world,” for daughter Isis as haters harass their family about the 5-year-old’s moniker. (Photo: Facebook/Ciara Martinez).
When Ciara and Jacob Martinez named their daughter Isis five years ago they had no idea that the lofty moniker, after the Egyptian goddess of fertility, would put them through such hell. The Arizona couple thought the name was fitting since they’d had trouble conceiving and consider their little girl a “miracle,” Ciara recently told The Daily Mail.
Isis is special in another way too: she was diagnosed in 2012 with the rare neurodevelopmental disorder Rett Syndrome, for which her family began fundraising to pay for a trip for her to see a specialist in California. But last August stickers with their tagline, #TeamIsis, started getting the wrong kind of attention as strangers mistook their group for the terrorist organization, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, aka, ISIS.
(Photo: Ciara Martinez).
“I honestly didn’t think anything of it when I printed them,” said the stay-at-home mom of two, 23, including another daughter Imelia, 2, with her husband, Jacob, 27. “I had started to hear of ISIS the terror group a couple of months earlier but to me that’s just an acronym, my daughter’s name is something completely different. But after [a fundraising event we held for our daughter], people started trying to drive me off the road, flipping me off, being aggressive… It was horrible.”
Haters have tweeted Ciara telling her that her ill daughter — now non-verbal due to her syndrome — is “a disgrace to America with that name.” Others continue to urge her to change Isis’ name amid all the torment but Ciara tells Yahoo Parenting that she’s standing strong.
“Isis has beaten so many odds,” says the mom of her first-born, who endures 35 hours of various therapies for her condition every week. “She has proven that she can do all things with great practice so if she can fight and live this life, I can do a better job and help fight the world for her.”
Well-wishers always ask how she does it, Ciara says. “People ask if it’s been hard, but I just say, ‘If you were in my position, wouldn’t you fight for what you have to fight for? I’m letting the world know that this is what her name is. This is her disease and we’re not backing down. I want to spread awareness.”
And more people have shown support for her than she ever imagined, she adds. “Ninety-eight percent of what people say to us is positive and I couldn’t be more grateful. People are sending me bible verses and telling me to stay strong, that I’m inspiring them.”
She’s also heard from a lot of other people named Isis (ranked #706 in popularity in 2014, according to Nameberry). “They tell me that they’re glad I’m speaking out because they’ve been having the same experiences with the name that we have,” she adds.
The note that gives her most comfort, though, is an email she often re-reads with a bible quote. It says in part: “Isis is a beautiful name…I’m sorry such a hateful group hijacked it,” she shares. “Know this: ‘What Satan intends for our harm, God will use for our good.” Ciara says when she first read it, “I literally got chills. That fit us perfectly.”