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Natalia Vodianova praises her mother’s ‘resilience’ in raising a disabled child

The model’s half-sister, Oksana, has cerebral palsy and autism.

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Natalia Vodianova (Ian West/PA)

Natalia Vodianova (Ian West/PA)

Natalia Vodianova (Ian West/PA)

Model Natalia Vodianova has praised her mother’s “resilience” after she brought up a “severely” disabled child.

The 39-year-old told Harper’s Bazaar her mother was in a “very difficult situation”.

Her half-sister, Oksana, has cerebral palsy and autism.

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Natalia Vodianova (Ian West/PA)

Natalia Vodianova (Ian West/PA)

Natalia Vodianova (Ian West/PA)

Vodianova told the magazine: “My mother showed me a very different side of life.

“She taught me great resilience. She was really an exception, keeping a severely disabled child, because every parent was encouraged to abandon them at birth.

“My mum was a fighter, and she never gave up on Oksana.

“Although it was very difficult for all of us, she persevered, and she loved us equally.”

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(Harper’s Bazaar/PA)

(Harper’s Bazaar/PA)

(Harper’s Bazaar/PA)

Vodianova also reflected on her experience of bringing up her own five children.

“I definitely believe that the only way to educate your children is to be an example yourself,” she said.

“I have five children, it’s a great responsibility. And it’s probably the most important role in my life, to empower my children and to make sure that I can pass on some of the incredible lessons that I’ve received from my life in a way that will not be invasive.”

Vodianova added that she feels refreshed because of the pandemic.

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Natalia Vodianova (Niall Carson/PA)

Natalia Vodianova (Niall Carson/PA)

Natalia Vodianova (Niall Carson/PA)

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“I realised, at the end of March last year, that I was waking up naturally and not feeling sleep-deprived for the first time since I was six years old.

“You prioritise in a very different way when you’re not exhausted.

“I knew how to cook, because I had cooked since I was very little.

“But I really loved it, actually. Having this routine of waking up and making lunch, and then having a little break and starting to cook dinner.

“This feeling of feeding my family was very beautiful. And everyone knew where to find me.”

– The September issue of Harper’s Bazaar is on sale from Thursday.

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