We have an expression which says a person has a smile that will light up a room. Well, I want to tell you about a person where this saying is absolutely true! My little friend can not only light up a room, but she can fill your heart with joy when she smiles at you — see for yourself below.

Always with a smile, despite having spina bifida!

This photograph was taken in 2009, when Global Partners in Life had been supporting her special needs orphanage in China for three or four years. She is very playful, and she loves to go outside.

Unfortunately, she isn’t allowed to walk around much, because she has spina bifida with a tethered spine syndrome. She can’t walk very well at all, and it isn’t a good idea to spend much time on her feet, because she has a wound that won’t heal. She doesn’t have any feeling from her waist down, so it doesn’t hurt her; but battling an infection is a constant in her life.

spina bifida foot wound of a special needs orphan

I have watched her wound have the dressing changed many times. Sometimes the wound is much larger than it appears in this picture. We spend at least $1,000 a year for the medicines that fight infections and some that attempt to close the wound. The doctors tell us that if the infection gets into her bone, then she will need to have her foot amputated.

Even though my friend has battled this condition for many years, she never seems to let this get her down or slow her down. I am sure there is a lesson in this for me, and I should remember her when I am throwing a pity party for myself!

Please support Global Partners in Life so we can continue to provide the medical attention needed by this little girl and several others!