Today's "Foto Friday" is a little different. It is not breastfeeding related..... nor is it a foto of my family. Today's Foto is of a friend's daughter.
Today I want to introduce to you, Ana.
Ana is a lively 10 year old girl, who on any normal day looks like the little girl next door. She loves her baby sister, her Fur-Siblings, her Mummie and her Daddy. She has a gymnast's heart (and the medals to prove it.)
But this little girl next door fights a hard battle.
Ana was a (PROUD) level 4 gymnasts for almost five years. In the Spring of 2011 she
took home fourth place in the State meet for her division, scoring nothing
lower than a 9.0.
By February of 2012 she was almost unable to compete. Ana
had never fallen off the beam or bars, but in her most recent meet she
fell from the beam twice. Her hands were so swollen she couldn't fit into
her grips, wasn't able to hold the bar and came off of it during her routine.
She now is unable to do gymnastics and has to sit out at PE.
Ana was diagnosed at age 8 with Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA.)
She spent two years in and out of casts while they tried to figure out what was wrong with her feet.
She now has arthritis in her feet, knees, hands and hips.
(From a recent trip to the ER.... she handles it like the Boss she is...... but she should not have to!)
She has attended Camp Boggey Creek which is a camp for kids with childhood diseases.
It was amazing for her and she came home with many new friends.
As of right now her Rhuematologist and Opthamologist are in St. Pete so they
travel there every six weeks and she soon will have to see neurologist as
Ana's in pain almost every day, her hands and feet are very swollen almost on a daily basis.
She takes medicine 2x a day, weekly injections and other
medicine for the pain.
She is now having to use a wheel chair, as she is in too much pain to walk and too heavy for her Mummie to carry. The wheel chair is on an as needed basis, but with Ana's spirit, she rocks the wheels pretty hard!
All Ana wants is to give her disease some attention. She wants everyone to know about this disease and how it affects these amazing young people. This little girl is so strong, that she does not want the attention for herself. All she wants is for this disease to be known and cured... not just for her..... but for all who fight this battle.
She has a website, to help raise money and awareness, for JRA. I got word that half of what is raised will be donated to The Arthritis Foundation, help find a cure and the rest will go toward helping this amazing girl.
She is a super star in my book!
You know I always say to "rock your journey!" Ana's journey is very different than the breastfeeding journeys we rock. But she is rocking her JRA Journey the best way she knows how........ Ana Style!
You go Girl!