3-year-old Grace Anna Rodgers from Kentucky is one of the happiest toddlers you will find. Although with everything that she has had to overcome, you would think she wouldn’t be smiling at all. Grace has a rare form of dwarfism called Conradi Hunermann syndrome. Before she was born, some doctors gave up on her, telling her parents she would likely be deaf, and that her crushing scoliosis could impair her lung function. But her parents didn’t give up, and now their adorable daughter has become a YouTube singing sensation.
Grace has overcome many obstacles in her young life, including being born blind due to cataracts, severe kyphosis and scoliosis of the spine. Every day she deals with health issues and almost lost her life in 2012 due to complications from one of her many surgeries. It was after this surgery, while recovering that little Gracie started to sing.
“I would lay her head in my lap in bed and sing with her and she would play with my hair,” said her mother, Angie Rodgers. “It seemed like she was bound and determined to sing and do nothing else.
Her parents say she is never in a bad mood. Grace loves to sing and smile. The youngster is a born entertainer. She started singing at 16 months, and hasn’t stopped, so they started to put her singing videos up on YouTube, and have received an overwhelming response. Her mom says that she has already been asked to have Grace sing at a veterans’ benefit in Kansas and at another event in Virginia. Rodgers said there was an even bigger project in the works that she couldn’t yet discuss.
“For someone who failed a hearing test, she sings well,” she said. “Summer rolled around and she was singing the whole first verse of ‘Amazing Grace’ – loud and proud. You know the line: ‘I was blind, but now can see.’”
Conradi-Hunermann syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by skeletal malformations, skin abnormalities and cataracts, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. It is caused by an X-linked dominant trait that occurs almost exclusively in girls; boys born with the syndrome usually do not survive.
An estimated one in 400,000 newborns is born with the disorder. Symptoms and severity can vary among individuals, but cataracts, spinal curvature, sparse or coarse scalp hair and scaling of the skin are common.
“Her doctor is amazed by her – she’s a pistol,” said Rodgers, who wants the same life for her daughter as her teenage son enjoys. “Hopefully, she will have a relationship with God, which is a priority in our family, and some type of vocation she loves to do.”
“I don’t want her to think she can’t be successful in life,” she said. “Just because she has a disability, doesn’t mean she can’t dream big. She is very smart and just because she is very small, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a purpose.”
The Rodgers have started a crowdfunding page to help pay for the huge medical bills associated with little Gracie’s treatment, so if you would like to donate, head to their gofundme page.
Source: Yahoo News