Rachel | Kid Captain for Iowa State Basketball | Blank Children's

UnityPoint Clinic - Express

180 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 120
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th St. SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Ave., Ste. 2
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

03 Patients
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Urgent Care - Ankeny

3625 N. Ankeny Blvd.
Suite E
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

06 Patients
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Urgent Care - Lakeview

6000 University Avenue
Suite 101
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

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Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

09 Patients
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Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 SE 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320

04 Patients
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Urgent Care - Urbandale

2901 86th Street
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

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Rachel is a 9th grader with a positive attitude who loves to be kind and be an encouragement to others. With her life’s story, it’s not difficult to see how she could be an inspiration!

At age 2, Rachel experienced multiple types of seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. She had lesions, cortical dysplasia, and Rasmussen's encephalitis all throughout the right half of her brain, and her seizures were uncontrolled with medication. When she was only 5 years old, she had the right half of her brain removed, called a right hemispherectomy, in order to control her seizures. The brain surgery resulted in having to learn how to hold her head up, sit up and walk all over again. Rachel is blind in the left half of both eyes and has no fine motor skills on her left side. Seven years after her first surgery, at age 12, Rachel developed hydrocephalus and her seizures returned. This led to a second brain surgery. During that same year, she also had major foot reconstruction and leg surgery. 

“Rachel has had countless therapies over the years,” said her mom, Roxanne, “but she never gives up and is an inspiration to all!”

Despite all her challenges, Rachel enjoys many of the same activities any teenager would enjoy. She goes to school and participates in various after-school activities, including the school play and basketball cheerleading. Rachel loves reading books, writing stories, telling jokes, dancing, bowling, playing basketball, participating in 4-H, and showing animals at the Guthrie County Fair. She particularly enjoys teasing her three brothers and doing family activities.

Rachel’s diagnosis has had a big impact on her family. Her three brothers witnessed numerous seizures and spent countless hours in waiting rooms during therapy sessions and doctor’s appointments. Roxanne completely switched careers to help others with epilepsy access resources to live their best life possible.

“It has made our family stronger,” said Roxanne. “Each day is a gift, and we try to live it as such.”