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Girl stays positive despite disability, looks online for financial help

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Imagine losing the ability to walk or move your arms, all at 8-years-old. It’s a scary reality facing a Bloomington girl. She’s staying positive and turning to her business smarts, to hopefully make her life a little easier.

Pencil to paper, second grader Sonja Parrott loves math. But even at eight, she knows some figures don’t add up.

“We can’t keep saving it up a whole lot like we need it to be,” said Parrott.

Parrott needs an electric lift. She has spinal muscular atrophy, and her body’s missing a key protein. The lack of it makes her muscles weak.

“I can still move my legs, but I can’t walk. When I get older, my arm muscles might start getting a little weaker, too,” she said.

In the past four months, Parrott lost the ability to walk. She crawls to get around and uses a scooter at school.

“The part that’s not fun is that I can’t catch up with my class that fast, because my class is faster than me. When they run, I can’t catch up with them most of the time,” said Parrott.

But her condition could get worse quickly. In five years time Sonja’s muscle function may be gone, requiring help to move.

“It’s far away, so there’s nothing to worry about now. But I feel kind of scared,” she said.

Electric lifts aren’t covered by insurance, and they’re pricey too, especially in the mind of an 8-year-old.

“They were like thousands and millions of dollars,” she said.

So Sonja and her family put out a few cans, but then took to the Internet for crowd-funding. She’d like about $4,000, enough for a high-quality lift. Sonja said she’s surprised by the response so far but hopeful for more.

“Be happy and smile,” she said.

She holds on to a positive attitude as her needs keep growing.

Sonja wants to hold a bake sale and sell lemonade when the weather warms up to continue raising money. You can find a link to her crowd-funding page by clicking here. 

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