Addison Tarrence was born a healthy baby girl, hitting all of her early milestones – rolling over, sitting up, standing and walking. It wasn’t until she was 18 months old that her parents, Kara and Josh, started noticing some unusual things.
“She began randomly falling to the ground,” recalls Kara, “there was no warning of when her legs were going to give out.”
Just a few months before her third birthday, blood tests confirmed that Addison had spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disease that causes muscle wasting among other health issues.
“The good news was that Addison has type III,” her parents explain. “Most diagnosed with type III live a normal life span. Their disease does progress, just usually at a much slower pace.”
Addison was 8 years old when she became fully dependent on her wheelchair. She is now active in adaptive recreation activities including skiing and her favorite—horse therapy.
“CMN Hospitals has helped cover part of the cost of her horse therapy for the past three years. Without their help, she might not be able to participate,” says Kara. “Horse therapy is very good for her body and keeps her as active as
Kara adds, “This is not the life we had planned. Some days are very hard and the thought of what the future holds weighs very heavy on our hearts. But then there are days better than I could have ever imagined. Addison is a fighter in her own quiet, quirky way. We are not giving her hope, she is giving it to us.”