UPDATE: The support from the community has been quick, humbling, overwhelming and incredible. Through your generosity we were able to meet our funding goal and beyond. Anything additional over that will be used for Sophia's medical bills (just got a $4,000 MRI bill), souvenirs to help her remember her trip and inspire her and to make her as comfortable as possible during her recovery. Thank you so much for making this possible, it means the world to me to be able to make my little girl happy and try and fulfill her wishes and dreams. Thanks again and god bless.
My 12 year old daughter Sophia is facing a pretty difficult surgery to straighten her spine and I’d like to surprise her with a trip to NASA and Epcot before she has to endure surgery and a long recovery. Last year we were referred to Children’s Hospital to have her examined and x-rayed as her primary care physician said she has scoliosis. At that time she had about a 50 degree curve in her spine and just at the point where surgery is usually considered. Bracing to try and correct it isn’t an option once a curve is that high so we decided to monitor it to see how it progressed as I really didn’t want to put her through the surgery and all the potential complications that can come with it.
Recently we took her back for another evaluation and it has pretty rapidly progressed to over 90 degrees and surgery is highly recommended as it could start to impact her health. The surgery is long and difficult and involves inserting screws all down the spine and then threading a rod through them to bring the spine straighter and keep it from curving again. She’ll be in the hospital for about a week and then it takes about 2 months to recover from it and heal which will limit her and put a damper on most of her summer. She has been brave about it and already endured a 2 hour MRI but I’m a nervous wreck as I pray for the best possible outcome but really fear the worst. One small comfort for me is knowing that the doctor who will be performing the surgery is considered one of the best pediatric orthopedic surgeons in the country.
Before she endures the difficult surgery and a painful recovery in early June I’d like to give her a trip that she’ll always remember and fulfill one of her passions which is outer space. Sophia is the sweetest and kindest little girl you’d ever meet and has always been a science geek and it’s her goal in life to one day work for NASA. She’s been talking about that for years and I’d love for her to be able to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and then go to Epcot Center and explore and geek out. Unfortunately as this is a sudden and unexpected trip and due to some unexpected recent major expenses I find myself not able to cover this.
I really have never asked anyone for help before and I find myself in the uncomfortable position of reaching out to the community for assistance to help send my little girl to space and give her a week of fun before she has to endure the surgery. I’d also like to try and give her room a space themed makeover while she is in the hospital so she comes back to a geeky environment to recover in. It’s going to be hard for me to enjoy anything until this is over and I know she has made it through it OK but I know she would love it and it would be one small step to bring her closer to her dream of working at NASA someday. If you find it in your hearts to help out I would appreciate it more then you could know and more importantly I know Sophia would too.