FACING PERTHES DISEASE WITH A BIG HEART
Last summer Karter won the “Lil Guy” State Wrestling Tournament in Montana. This spring the seven-year-old is making his third drive to Shriner’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington. What initially seemed like a pulled muscle turned out to be Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, a relatively rare condition that occurs when blood supply to the hip bone is interrupted, causing the bone to die. The good news is his body will heal over time. The bad news is, it gets worse before it gets better. In preparation for his latest hospital trip, his mother, Laura Scheele, had an idea. “Karter’s always nervous to go to the hospital, so I wanted to give him something to look forward to this time,” said Laura. “We decided to do something to give back, since that always makes you feel better.”
FACING PERTHES DISEASE AND DETERMINED TO GIVE BACK
Laura, an Origami Owl® Designer, let her customers know that for every $20 they spent on orders, Karter would deliver a chocolate Easter bunny to the staff and fellow patients at Shriner’s Hospital. Over just a few weeks, everyone rallied behind Karter’s cause. Just before his visit (which was right before Easter), he was excited to go shopping with his mom to buy over 50 chocolate bunnies. When asked how he thought the recipients would feel, Karter piped up, “Good!”
For Laura and her husband, Tim (also an Origami Owl Designer), it’s been heart-wrenching to watch their once-active son go from running, jumping and wrestling to a wheelchair, braces and crutches, depending on the severity of his pain. Through it all, though, they’ve been amazed at his bravery. “The example he’s given his classmates has been amazing,” said Laura.
DON’T BE SCARED
While the journey hasn’t been easy—and will likely get harder for a while (the disease can last two-to-five years)—Karter’s advice for other children facing difficult times is simple but powerful: “Don’t be scared.” As for his mom’s perspective, she offered one of her favorite quotes: “Just keep in mind, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’”
As they delivered their bunnies and spread joy, Laura wore one of her favorite Living Lockets, one she created in honor of Karter’s battle with Perthes Disease. “It has the Montana blue Face Plate (because that’s where we’re from); the Boy Charm to represent Karter; the November Birthstone Heart (because I feel like he has a heart of gold); the Cross Charm for our faith; the Globe Charm (because I feel like he can change the world); the “Family” Script Charm (because they help us so much); the Heart Hand Charm (to remind us to be grateful for all that we have); the Doughnut Charm because we always stop by Krispy Kreme on our way back from the hospital to get treats for our other kids); and the Arrow Charm (to remind us that sometimes we have to be held back before we go forward).”
Laura’s thrilled to help her courageous Karter face his anxiousness by reaching out to others. In fact, that’s what gives Laura that “live sparkly” joy in life. “Teaching my kids how to be accountable in giving back is what it’s all about for me. I want them to be someone who’s a giver. When I can teach them to do that, when I see them doing that, it brings me joy.”
For more information on Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, click here.