Hadley | 2019 Football Kid Captain

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Hadley

Hadley is the baby of the family who enjoys riding bikes, roller skating, helping her family, singing, dancing, being outdoors, being with friends and family, doing crafts, playing board games, and playing with dolls. 

In early 2017, Hadley became very sick. She had blood in her stools and had severe stomach pain. At first, doctors told Hadley's parents that nothing was wrong with her. They went the entire year with no diagnosis, but in November 2018 they had an appointment at the Pediatric Gastroenterology Clinic at Blank Children's Hospital. Many tests were run, which led to the diagnosis of severe Crohn's Disease in her small and large intestines and inflammatory bowel disease. 

"I knew something was very wrong when Hadley couldn't take more than a couple bites of food. She would then end up in a fetal position, screaming in pain along with bloody diarrhea, and had lost about 18 pounds," said Hadley's mom, Tonya. "When your child is sick, go with your gut instinct and keep pressing for answers and get second, third, fourth opinions - whatever it takes. I am glad we did."  

Treatment for Hadley began with several tests, such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, flouroscopy, chest/abdominal x-rays, blood work, stool samples, and swallow studies. Hadley was put on several medications for a course of seven weeks that included: azathioprine, culturelle, multivitamin, omeprazole, miralax, and prednisone several times daily. Rechecks are completed every three months. Those tests include hydroxy vitamin D levels, CBC and differential, comprehensive metabolic panel, sedimentation rate, vitamin B12, zinc, and prometheus thiopurine metabolites. After the initial seven weeks, Hadley is now on azathioprine, culturelle and multivitamin daily and every three months has blood draws. 

"As a parent, it has been hard to realize that my child can no longer do some of the things we do as a family, such as being outdoors in the heat, swimming is too big of a risk, sicknesses from others can be dangerous, and eating certain foods causes her too much pain," said Tonya. "Accommodating Hadley's disease has been a huge family adjustment, but has now become easier as it's becoming our 'norm.' We do with Hadley what she can do and have learned to be flexible."

From the time Hadley became sick, she never gave up on wanting to feel better. She always said she wanted to be strong and fight her way to remission. Hadley has inspired her teachers, classmates, sisters and brother, grandmother, mother and father by encouraging everyone to remain strong. Hadley has a deeper love for everyone and shows this daily by providing others with comfort. 

"At such a young age, Hadley does her best to be a role model. She has become so strong, never complains, takes her medications daily, and makes sure everyone knows if she can do this, everyone can do it too! She is a very beautiful example of strength and courage," said Tonya. "We are so very proud of her!"