July 2017, Noelle made her 4th annual 1.5 mile swim across Province Lake in East Wakefield, NH. She has been an outpatient since the age of 5 when she was diagnosed with a rare spinal condition which causes constant pain and numbness in her legs along in addition to other problems. She spent 3 years with restricted mobility in a rigid back brace. Each time she went through a procedure or difficult situation, the hospital would provide a prize or reward which kept her spirits up. When she endured a 1:30 minute MRI in Feb of 2014, she noticed that the reward closet was quite empty. She asked what would happen to the child after her and they said there would be nothing for them. The prizes were all donations, mostly from the staff. Seeing as though the small reward was so important to her throughout her time at Tufts, she has decided to raise money to fill their closets and bring smiles to inpatients and outpatients at the hospital.
Noelle was diagnosed with Dysplastic spondylolisthesis at the age of 5. (Dysplastic spondylolisthesis is a rare congenital spondylolisthesis occurring because of a malformation of the lumbosacral junction resulting in small, incompetent facet joints.) I know that's a lot of medical lingo. Basically, Noelle 4th Lumbar is slipped and twisted over the 5th squeezing the spinal cord. Certain movements or falls could cause paralysis. Noelle was placed in a rigid back brace for 3 years. During those 3 years, she couldn't play outside, participate in physical education, recess or even ride a bike. It was a very difficult time but she remained consistently positive. She found ways to keep herself busy with sewing, piano and reading. When she was 10, her condition progressed so much that surgery was necessary to restore full function in her legs as well as provide relief from cronic nerve pain. Noelle was amazing through the whole process and determined to get back to raising money to bring smiles to sick kids.
A meer 8 months after her surgery, Noelle made the 1.5 mile swim again.
Today, Noelle is having a blast checking all the “typical” kid experiences off her list. She has been bowling, ice skating, zip lining, had a roller coaster ride, went on a jet ski, water tubing and even went fishing! Fishing doesn’t sound overly exciting, but for her it was an amazing experience despite the fact she didn’t catch anything. She has a few more life list items she wishes to check off this year like roller skating, snow tubing, ride a bike, and so much more. She also wants to make sure any child going through a similar situation of any type of illness has a positive memory of their experience. Noelle works closely with multiple hospitals to make sure they have plenty of prizes for all ages. To date, she has donated over 30,000 items! Hopefully this year she can add even more smiles! Thank you for your support.
DonationsSee top donations
- Elinor Chernesky
- Elaine Tirone
- Lisa Lynch
- Sharon Macone
- CARMEN PROULX
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