Erin and Jade have a birthday coming up! It's the perfect time to make a difference in their honor. Donations will be used to provide new books and activities for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Thank you!
Jade Hope and Erin Faith Buckles were born on Thursday, February 26, 2004. They are true miracles who have beaten the odds. Conjoined from mid-chest to naval, the girls shared a pericardium (sac around the heart), diaphragm and liver. Erin’s heart was 60% in Jade’s chest.
Erin and Jade were successfully separated on Saturday, June 19, 2004. Soon after the surgery, Erin was not moving her legs and doctors discovered she had a spinal cord injury that occurred during the separation surgery.
Erin and Jade’s older sister, Taylor, was diagnosed with a benign tumor on her spinal cord when she was 3 years old. The tumor was causing her spinal cord to be tethered; without surgery she would be paralyzed from her waist down. She went through surgery to remove the tumor and detether her cord.
Supporting us through all of this has been our extended family at the Ronald McDonald House. We would visit Baltimore for two weeks at a time for therapy at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Ronald McDonald House was like our second home. They have continuously been there for my family over the past fifteen years. The amazing staff has provided encouragement, love, support, friendship, and a constant cheering section for all of my girls. Being able to stay at the House means we have a wonderful room, a great kitchen, dinner every night, new friendships every time, a very safe place for all of us, and it gives me the ability to focus on Erin’s therapy without the stress of worrying about those things. We all absolutely love to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, and we are very blessed that it is available to us.
Through intensive therapy and a lot of hard work, Erin has recovered some function in the muscles below the injury. She is able to do things that the first doctors thought she would never be able to do. Erin can now walk short distances with the use of special braces called KAFOs (Knee, ankle, foot orthosis) and a walker. She doesn’t allow her spinal cord injury to slow her down at all. She plays wheelchair basketball and has competed in five National Championship tournaments, she participates in adaptive rock climbing, and she races 5K’s. When Erin wants to do something, she finds a way to accomplish it. Taylor is now a senior in high school, and while she continues to deal with further issues with her spinal cord, she looks forward to going to college and pursuing a career in writing.
In honor of Erin and Jade’s upcoming birthday, we sincerely appreciate your support in helping us give back to the Ronald McDonald House. Donations will be matched at 50% by the Literacy for a Lifetime Grant and used to purchase brand new books and activities for families to enjoy during their stay at the Ronald McDonald House. When we meet our goal of $3000, we’ll be able to donate $4500 of books in the girls’ honor. Thank you so much for your continued love and support.
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