When you meet Bella, you meet a girl with an infectious smile, and you can’t help but smile back.
Bella was born on a very cold day in February. Her parents held her and marveled at her beauty. She was perfect. 6 hours later, she stopped breathing. She was transported in the middle of a snow storm by ambulance to a larger hospital better equipped to take care of her. Bella and her family began their journey that day.
Among a few other diagnoses, Bella has Phelan McDermid Syndrome, which is sometimes referred to as 22q Deletion Syndrome, a condition caused by the deletion of a small amount of genetic material missing on chromosome 22.
The 22q Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides children and their families, from here and around the world, with access to a multidisciplinary team of expert clinicians who understand these special needs. Given the wide spectrum of medical, developmental, and psychological needs of affected patients, optimal treatment requires an individualized and comprehensive approach to evaluation and treatment by a team of experts who understand the unique needs of these patients.
Although Bella does not speak, she has a huge personality. She has a smile and presence that lights up the room.
She has fought hard for every little accomplishment. And although she has experienced many setbacks along the way – she continues to smile. Some of Bella’s favorite things are music and movement. She loves the swing she has in her house and the golf cart her family takes her for rides in to get her out and about.
“We live 2 hours from Nationwide Children’s, but have chosen to make this Bella’s home hospital because of the loving nurses and doctors we have found here. Unfortunately, 2016 was a difficult year for us and Bella was repeatedly hospitalized. Although this was a challenging time, I always knew Bell was in the best possible hands,” says Bella’s mom, Crystal.
Bella really responds to the excitement of those around her. She enjoys being the center of attention and loves applause. That’s what she’ll be doing on race day – reciprocating the positivity and exuberance of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon participants – inspiring them to have a good attitude about life, and to keep smiling.