Even before Pandora was born, her mom, Shauna, was alerted that something wasn’t right.
“We learned at our gender ultrasound (20-weeks) that things looked strange, and a specialized doctor diagnosed her with Holt-Oram Syndrome,” Shauna explains.
Holt-Oram is a genetic disorder that causes deformities, mainly in the shoulders and arms, as well as heart issues. Pandora’s hands are also affected.
“Basically her right arm is shortened with four fingers on her right hand. Her left arm is teeny tiny, and she only has three fingers.”
Now, 5-years-old, Pandora has overcome so much, and she continues to show her strength and courage to the world. “She is in kindergarten now, and cannot dress herself. She can write, but she needs assistance.”
Shauna says that along with frequent visits to the cardiologist and having routine physicals, she also feels the strain at school.
”Kids call her ‘little hands’ and she is the center of lots of teasing, and she is only in kindergarten. It breaks my heart.”
Shauna says that it’s so hard when they are out in public and other parents try to avoid Pandora, and not teach their children the importance of acceptance.
“I have noticed that they just avoid her altogether, and yell at their kids to, ‘look away’ and ‘stay away’ from my daughter. It really bothers me to hear that. She shrivels up, puts her hands together and just looks like she wants to sink into the ground. It’s very stressful for me as her mom to see this impact her little heart so much.”
What this Rochester, NY girl loves more than anything is country music – it keeps her joyful and truly makes her heart sing.
“She walks around the house, singing her little heart out and dancing in different outfits. Her favorite artists are Kane Brown and Carrie Underwood. Once she saw The Sound of Music on a television special, starring Carrie, she fell in love with her voice and comes home from school requesting that I play her songs.”
Hope Rises heard of Pandora’s story from a woman by the name of Taryn Lewien, after Taryn met both Pandora and Shauna at a Kane Brown concert in Buffalo, NY over the summer. With the Carrie Underwood show coming up on October 13, 2019 at KeyBank Center, it would be incredible if we could send little Pandora to the concert.
We have started a GoFundMe to be able to purchase two tickets, one for Pandora and one for Shauna, along with car service to and from the concert. We want to give sweet Pandora the most unforgettable night and let her know that she has an entire community behind her, ready and willing to shower her with love and adoration.
We also want her to know that she is not limited by her abilities. Rather they make her beautiful and unique.
Can you help us make this happen?
The link to donate – at any amount – can be found here. It is our belief that HOPE always RISES in all circumstances. Thank you for your love and support!