That’s why, when something is telling you to pay attention - when something inside is saying, “This doesn’t add up” - you act on it.
Kimberly Sprowal acted on it. Beginning at three months of age, Kimberly’s second daughter, Rose, seemed to be delayed on some of her developmental milestones, especially compared to what her big sister had been doing at that age.
“I noticed she wouldn’t bear weight on her legs and she had poor head control,” Kimberly told us. “Her pediatrician reassured me that Rose would catch up on her motor skills by the time she turned one but, in my gut, I knew something else was wrong.”
Anxiously watching her daughter for signs of improvement was stressful and tiring, and day by day, there seemed to be no substantial advancement in Rose’s motor skills. Waiting for her to turn one to see a drastic change in her development seemed unrealistic. But still, they watched and noted all the things that Rose could and couldn’t do.
When Rose hit one year of age and still could not crawl or sit up unassisted, her pediatrician finally referred the family to a neurologist for testing. On July 25, 2018, nearly two years after her birth, Rose was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), LAMA2 - a debilitating disease that causes muscle atrophy and weakness.
“Even though we could now put a name to what Rose had been experiencing, we were crushed by what it could mean for the rest of her life,” Kimberly said. “I started sobbing when doctors said she might not ever walk.”
At the time of Rose’s diagnosis, Kimberly and her husband found out they were expecting their third child, another little girl. They were told she also had a 25% chance of having Muscular Dystrophy, and while all seemed to be well, it led to more watching and waiting for the family. What could she do? What couldn’t she do?
Today, their oldest daughter Janel is six years old, Rose is four, and their youngest, Mariah, is two.
And like most families with siblings, Rose is motivated by keeping up with her sisters, challenging them to find the best hide-and-seek spots or breaking out into crazy dance parties in the living room. She’s at her best when she’s faced with an obstacle, and you can bet her competitive spirit comes into play.
“I’m so grateful that I can see the joy in her eyes as she pretends to jump higher and higher, all while throwing her arms up with all her strength in an effort to get off the ground from a seated position,” Kimberly laughingly shared. “She tells me, ‘Look, Mommy! I can jump so high.’”
Kimberly’s perspective has changed in the last few years - she went from looking for things Rose couldn’t do to seeing all of the things she could. Hey, Mom! Look what I can do.
Currently, what Rose wants to do is go to the park. It’s just not so simple for a child with a rare disease. Because the family lacks adequate transportation, they’ve only ventured out a few times for non-medically related trips. For Rose, getting into a car means a trip to the doctor’s office, PT/OT, or the hospital.
When we met the family over video a few weeks ago, Kimberly heartbreakingly shared something Rose had recently said: “I want to go to the park, not just to the doctor.” She’s a little girl wanting to experience childhood. She’s a little girl wanting to show all that she can do.
There are many challenges that come with her diagnosis, and Rose’s only chance of gaining safe and independent mobility is with a power wheelchair - which insurance will not approve until she has a vehicle to transport it.
Guess who stepped up to take care of that problem? You got it: Chive Charities donors.
Through the support of our monthly subscribers (join the donor family HERE) and one-time donations, we were able to fund the purchase of a 2019 Ford Transit passenger van from our partners at AMS Vans for a grand total of $47,016.
And while Rose might still have some doctor appointments and therapy visits to attend, she also has everything she needs for a day at the park with her sisters, challenging them to find the best hide-and-seek spots or breaking out into crazy dance parties. Hey, Mom! Look what I can do. With a spirit like that, who could doubt her?
It’s incredible to be able to create life-changing impact for Rose and her family. And what’s equally as awe-inspiring is that our community of donors is able to do that week after week, month after month, year after year for so many recipients like her.
For over eight years and counting, our Chive Charities donors have shown what they can do to make the world 10% happier. (And yes, maybe even broken out into some crazy dance parties themselves over the years.) Just like Rose, they’re consistently up for the challenge, ready to take on whatever is thrown their way with optimism and determination. With a spirit like that, who could doubt them?
We’re ready to see what you can do. DONATE HERE.