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
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
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
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