November 12, 2012
My name is Emma and I am 5 years old. Just before my fourth birthday my legs started hurting so bad that I couldn't walk. My mom and dad had to carry me a lot, but they thought I was just jealous because I had a new baby brother that got to be carried everywhere. But then at my fourth birthday party my mom and dad bought me an American Girl doll and I barely smiled because my legs and arms hurt so bad. I was so miserable I even let my best friend Megan open all my presents for me. After my birthday party, my parents took me to Children's Hospital emergency room. About two weeks later, I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable, auto-immune disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. Basically this disease causes my body to attack it's own healthy muscle tissues causing joint pain and skin rash. About six months later, a friend of my moms suggested we should apply for a therapy dog from Summit Assistance Dogs. I got to meet lots of different dogs, but a Golden Retriever named Anya fell in love with me and I fell in love with her immediately. In August we finally got to take Anya home with us. We are best friends. My mom and dad say that we are so blessed by all the people at Summit and we wouldn't even have Anya if it wasn't for them. I am very happy. Love, Emma Smiddy (age 5)
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MY ROLE:Client Served