When Addie Bryan turned 8 years old in 2015, she had a very special celebration in mind that was close to her heart.
The little girl wanted to donate money to Texas Scottish Rite in Dallas.
She wanted to say “thank you” to the hospital that had helped her overcome so many hurdles.
And thanks to the generosity of her community and even strangers, Addie was able to hand over a cheque that left the hospital staff speechless.
Just wait til you see the size of the cheque…
Addie was born with Larsen syndrome, a congenital malformation that affects the joints, hands, feet and face.
The syndrome is extremely rare – it occurs in approximately 1 in 100 000 pregnancies.
“When she was born, her knees were backward, her legs were all the way up to her head, she had hip dysplasia, and a club foot,” Addie’s mom, Julie Bryan, tells WFAA.
Julie’s little girl was barely a week old when she was fitted with her first casts to fix her legs.
Up until she turned 8, Addie was fitted with nearly 70 casts.
“We didn’t know if she would ever walk, if she would ever run. We didn’t know any of that,” mom Julie remembers.
But thanks to a lot of hard work from Addie and her doctors, Addie was able to recover from the more severe symptoms of the syndrome. She was soon able to run around and play with her friends, despite the fact that no one had dared to hope she would ever be able to do that.
Every day she took new steps in her development. She can now do things that seemed impossible when she was just a few days old.
In the summer, just before her 8th birthday, Addie stood on the side of a very busy street in her hometown of Rockwall, Texas.
Every morning and every afternoon.
“I just hold a sign that says, ‘For my birthday, I want to raise $8,000 for Scottish Rite Hospital.’”
Addie stood on a corner of the street and asked people to make donations to the hospital.
Addie, who hopes that the money will be put towards casts and crutches for other children, was well on her way to reaching her target amount when local media outlets picked up on her story.
As more people heard about Addie’s goal, the donations came pouring in.
According to WFAA, Addie was already half-way towards her target, having raised USD $4,500 for the hospital.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that is a lot of money,’” Addie tells WFAA.
But the donations didn’t stop coming in – Addie’s collection grew rapidly thanks to help from people across the country.
Many anonymous gifts reached the hospital, including a check for USD $50 000 from one donor!
Stephanie Brigger, vice president of development at Scottish Rite Hospital, says she was “speechless” when she saw the check.
She tells WFAA that the money Addie has donated will provide casts and prosthetics for children at the hospital for many years to come.
“I think all the kids are going to be happy, and they can get out of the hospital faster,” Addie says.
Addie is truly an incredible and special little girl who proves that nothing is impossible – no matter what the circumstances.
I hope that she inspires you the same way she has inspired me. It’s an amazing thing to do for others that will benefit so many lives!
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