Annie’s nominator writes: “Some people in this world have an infectious smile, and two-year-old Annie can charm anyone with her smile! I would like to nominate sweet annie for the memorial princess event because she is facing a hard medical diagnosis that does not have a cure.
Late last year, Annie’s parents noticed that she was not performing developmental milestones normal for a two-year-old. She could no longer climb the stairs, get down from her chair, or squat to pick up a toy. After various trips to specialists and undergoing a brain and spinal MRI, Annie and her family still did not have answers. It took one doctor that chose to dig a little deeper into Annie’s symptoms. based on his research, he immediately sent Annie to CHOA for more extensive testing. She was finally diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called juvenile dermatomyositis.
Juvenile dermatomyositis or JDM is a disease that causes Annie’s body to fight off good cells which results in weak muscles and skin rashes. It does not have a cure and therefore Annie faces the possibility of lifelong treatments. She will be on steroids for the next 1 to 2 years. she will go once a month to Atlanta for infusions that take an entire day to receive. They leave home at 5:30 AM and return at 5:30 PM. She is given weekly injections at home, along with a daily steroid. She is at extreme risk for sunburns, and they have to be very careful with outdoor play. If her meds are even slightly adjusted or altered, it can result in setbacks for Annie. Meanwhile, Annie keeps smiling!
Annie is a happy-go-lucky two-year-old that loves baby dolls, shopping with her mom, cheering beside her dad at sporting events, and playing with her two older brothers. Her wonderful family provides her with all the love and support she could possibly need. in the eight short months since her diagnosis, her family and friends have raised money for her disease foundation. This sweet, innocent two-year-old girl deserves to be loved on and treated like a princess.”
From Heather: Annie is something else. I’ve been photographing children for almost 20 years and I was a preschool teacher before I started my business.. and I’ve never met a two-year-old like Annie. She’s way ahead of her age, some of which can be explained by her having two older brothers, but the rest is all her. Shy at first, she didn’t talk to me for a while, so I didn’t quite realize the brain this little girl has until she did start talking, and then she sounded like a miniature teenager minus the sassy attitude. She threw a rock at some point during photos, but she checked around her to make sure she wouldn’t hurt anyone with it first. What two-year-old does that??
So in addition to being super smart and way advanced for her age, she’s also kind and gentle. When she speaks, she has the sweetest little sing-songy voice ever. Once she decides she likes you, she’s fully on and you’re her friend forever. I spent literally half of the session either chasing her for tickles at her request or being chased by her. She also has the most perfect angel hair ever, I think I took about a hundred pictures of the back of her head to get the little golden curls going down her back. She knows exactly what she wants, too. I gave her to option of what dress and crown and wings she wanted to wear, with zero hesitation picking out all of what she was wearing. But the absolute BEST part of her photos is that SHE picked all of her own poses. So she’d walk over somewhere, sit down, and pick whatever pose she thought was cute there (never in the same pose either). The first time, her mom and I just died laughing, and for the rest of the photo session, she just kept picking good locations and cute poses.
Her nominator was totally right, she has me absolutely charmed, 100%.
Such a beautiful story about your little Annie. I hope and pray that she continues to do well. The photos are absolutely beautiful just like she is! She surely did pick some wonderful spots to pose in and her smile is so sweet. Many prayers for your sweet little Annie…she is definitely a princess!
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