Condition: Kawasaki Syndrome, Downs Syndrome
City, State: Medford, OR
Club: Jacksonville Elementary Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 11/04/2014
Catherine is a sweet and affectionate 11-year-old girl who radiates joy. She loves to sing and play games and enjoys going to school at Jacksonville Elementary. Catherine’s love of life and the joy that she brings to others is inspirational, especially in light of the fact that she lives with chronic medical conditions.
Catherine has Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. Down syndrome affects the entire body and it is common for people with Down syndrome to have low muscle tone, respiratory issues, and heart problems.
Unfortunately, Catherine experiences all of these things and more. Catherine has had respiratory issues from the time she was born, and had to spend the first two weeks of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit. To this day, Catherine spends a lot of time in the hospital (and misses a lot of school) when the air quality is poor. A common cold can turn into a serious respiratory condition very quickly. Catherine sometimes has to wear a breathing mask to school and often requires breathing treatments using a nebulizer.
Catherine also has a condition called Kawasaki syndrome, which is an immune disease that causes the medium-sized blood vessels throughout the body to become inflamed. This can have very serious effects on the heart, as well as other parts of the body.
Even though Catherine’s immune system is fragile and sometimes limiting, she continues to live her life with a smile on her face and love in her heart. She is very close with her family, especially with her younger sister Barbara.
Catherine will be adopted as a Sparrow to Jacksonville Elementary School, the same school that she attends. Students will support and encourage Catherine by working hard to raise money for her and her family through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.