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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Push Girls


Push Girl Nominee Alana (Lana) Little

Alana Ashley Little (Lana)

Nominated by Little Miss Wheelchair Texas 2012

While Alana Ashley Little (Lana) may not meet most people's definition of a Push Girl because she's only eight years old, the reality of it is that she will probably not live to be an adult. Our Lana's a fighter...she's had to be. She was born into a world of mental illness, homelessness and drug and alcohol abuse. During
her infancy, she never saw a pediatrician...never had her immunizations...never had formula...her world was a literal hell. We (her maternal grandparents) were able to win custody of Lana and her little brother, Alex in 2005 when she was fifteen months old and Alex was four months old. Just as we were all settling in to our new lives, Lana was diagnosed with Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T). A-T is a rare (about 500 cases in the USA and 1,000 worldwide), recessive genetic disorder that hides in the genes of those who carry it. Imagine having a disease that combines the very worst symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, an immune system deficiency and a 1,000 times greater chance of having cancer than the general population. A-T is neuro-degenerative and is progressive...there is no cure or treatment for is fatal. (Lana and Alex's mother, our daughter died on June 27, 2009 of a drug overdose. Their father's paternal rights have been terminated.) Lana's cerebellum has been destroyed by A-T...her immune system is no longer functioning, so she receives subcutaneous immunoglobin infusions each week at home (three needles in the stomach). She began using a wheelchair at the age of two to head off the crushing fatigue that A-T has caused. She made the move full time to her chair at the age of seven because she could no longer control the muscles in her body. While the drugs and alcohol that she was exposed to prenatally did not cause her A-T, they have certainly exacerbated it. Despite everything she's endured in her short life, Lana is an inspiration to many...she has testified at our State Capital for the preservation of Medicaid...she was actually recognized on the Senate floor for her work...together, we educate others on children with disabilities. She loves nothing more than putting her chair on high and flooring it...laughing like crazy all the way. Lana is frustrated by people who feel sorry for her or pity her...that's not what she's about! She lives her life on her terms...and really, isn't that the epitome of a Push Girl?


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