After missing many milestones, and her inability to bear weight, at ten months old, Stella was sent to see a pediatric neurologist who ordered a blood test. She was then diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA. SMA is a genetic disease affecting the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and voluntary muscle movement. After meeting another local family with a child with SMA they were referred to A Kid Again.
Stella faces challenges daily of accessibility and inclusion, and her illness requires her to use a wheelchair. Stella’s parents, Cole and Shayla, are currently working to make their home 100% accessible for Stella. They believe it is a right, not a privilege, that every person should at least have access in their own home. They like to remind others that just because Stella’s mobility looks a bit different than that of other children does not mean she does not want or need to be included. Every difficult task that comes along with having a toddler is multiplied for them. Despite the challenges they may face, Stella is a happy and they are thankful to be her parents.
At 2 years old, Stella enjoys being outdoors-taking walks, going swimming, visiting the zoo, and playing at her water table. Stella loves spending time with family and playing with her cousins. She loves animals, celebrating holidays, and playing with her baby dolls. Unfortunately, due to Covid, Stella and her family have not been able to attend an in-person event, but really enjoyed an Adventure in a Box together as a family. Stella and her parents are looking forward to the Central Ohio Halloween Drive Thru and the Holiday Party at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium as their first in person Adventures where they will be able to connect with other families who are in similar situations and experience a break, even if just for a moment from the challenges of her condition.