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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Jasmine: Her Story of Courage.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A young girl battles the daily living required by someone with a severe physical disability, as told by her older sister.

My little sister, Jasmine, has more spunk, more tenacity, more drive than most people, most adults, do in their entire lifetime--and she is only six.

Jasmine Richelle was born with spina bifida, a serious neurotube defect that affects the spinal column while the baby is being formed inside the mommy's tummy.  For some reasons that I cannot understand, her spinal cord didn't close right; as a result, she is now disabled.

Her disability is life-long, meaning she will always need help with mobility.

As a result of her handicap, Jazzy is paralyzed from the waist down.  She has limited feeling in her legs and hips and has to wear braces on her legs because her legs would otherwise collapse underneath her if she attempted to stand without them.  They are that weak.

She uses a wheeled walker or forearm crutches to further aid her walking.

For longer trips (such as at school or when she goes to the zoo or mall, for instance), Jazzy uses her wheelchair; it's a lot easier for her. Another place she uses her wheelchair is at an amusement park.

Jazzy has had numeous hospitalizations, numerous surgeries, to try to make her life better. Yet it is such a financial burden on mommy and daddy: they are always arguing about the bills incurred by their younger child's hospital stays/surgeries; it upsets us when they fight; we think they are going to get a divorce; what is going to happen to us then??

I know Jazzy can't help that she's disabled, but I wish that she hadn't been born with paralyzed limbs; I wish she could run as free as the wind with nothing to hinder her. I wish she could play baseball or hide-and-seek like any other child; I wish she didn't fall down so much; I wish other kids wouldn't tease her about her handicap. That really upsets me.

Despite her problems, Jazzy is a bright, ever-laughing little girl who doesn't let her physical state get to her. She loves to play house with me or her friends, color in her coloring books, read simple stories (she has problems learning; she's also learning to write her name and the alphabet). play with her Bratz dolls, and play on the computer (under our parents' supervision, of course). She has a very busy, very active, very fulfilling life.

Another thing Jazzy loves to do is sing in the church children's choir every Sunday. She is a natural ham; she's always trying to make the churchgoers laugh with her clownish antics. She's the one who is busier making faces than trying to sing along with the other children to "Jesus Loves Me" (much to the pastor's chagrin). It's really hard not to laugh (or get mad) when she gets into one of her playful moods while at church.

I will be writing again soon; I have more stories about Jazzy that I think you will enjoy. By the way, my name's Ariel; I'm nine. I'm the older sister. I will also be writing about myself; so stay tuned!

~Ariel Joy, aged nine (big sister to Jasmine Richelle).

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 9/18/2007
This is a wonderful write I look forward to getting to know Jasmine better
God Bless
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/18/2007
I am sure it is difficult for anyone to eccept any disability...but love concurs all!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 9/18/2007
Siblings never see their member of their own family as disable, or rare, or different, they come natural to them to accept then for what they are.
We adults, should learn from them.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/18/2007

Difficult for a child to understand why one of their brothers and sisters are disabled, but they see its ramifications through more attention given the disabled one, the arguements about finances, the stares and comments from others...Ariel sounds like she's got a good head on her shoulders. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 9/18/2007
Oh Karen so touching that this beautiful child finds all the reasons to smile and laugh without feeling sorry for herself, Mom and Dad has to put the pressures of the bills aside for Jazzy's life is more then a dollar and I know it must be hard on them but look into her eyes. Worth it. Thank you for sharing.
Newfie Hugs, Rose

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