By Tari Kelahan

Erin was born in 1988 and lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has OI Type IV. She is 41 inches tall and weighs 41 pounds. She has had about 25 fractures, most of which were to her femurs. In fact, two of the femur fractures occurred before she was born.

Erin's dad, Tim, also has OI Type IV, but it's not as severe as Erin's. (In fact he's a fire fighter!) Erin's six-year-old sister, Heather, is not affected.

When Erin was four years old, we took her to Shriners Hospital in Portland for rodding surgery. She had rods placed in both femurs and hasn't had a femur fracture since. We were really apprehensive about the surgery, but now realize we would have done it sooner had we known how successful it would be.

Erin has scoliosis, which she wears a brace for. It does seem to be keeping the curve from progressing as quickly. It took some getting used to, because it was uncomfortable, but she's adapted quite well to it.

She also wears braces on her lower legs because they are bowing. The braces cover both front and back of her legs and the bottom of her feet. They have given her feet tremendous support, and she does not tire nearly as easily as before.

Erin is in second grade and attends a regular classroom. She walks everywhere and participates in P.E. She is active in local theater and played Tiny Tim in last year's "A Christmas Carol." She is now rehearsing for "Wind in the Willows."

Erin has a great attitude--she's very positive and outgoing. She's a real "people person" and loves to spend time with her friends. She does really well in school, loves to read, and is now learning how to play the guitar.


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