Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blueberries and Rett Syndrome

Just over the Cumberland River Bridge into Trousdale County is Kelley's Berry Farm offering freshly picked strawberries, blackberries and blueberries while the season lasts. However, the real fun is to pick the berries, yourself or with friends!

A camera-shy Tabby
I got to hang out picking blueberries with a couple of Tennessee southern
sweethearts, today, for a little while before the heat sent us looking for relief. It was a berry happy birthday for my friend, Curry W., who was looking to do something different for her special week. When I suggested blueberry pickin', she decided to bring along her charge for the day, Tabby!

Tabby is an adult with Rett Syndrome. This disease is a rare genetic disorder occurring most exclusively in girls during childhood slowly taking
over their bodies. Because the onset is later, the girls experience the frustration of not being able to do the things they were previously capable of as they lose their voice and control of motor skills. Other characteristics of Rett are seizures, brain size being up to 30% smaller, swallowing difficulties,
scoliosis and lack of mobility.

Curry is amazing! She lifted Tabby out of the car and into her lightweight wheelchair and hauled all the gear to make Tabby comfortable. To be straight up, I was concerned Tabby's wheelchair was not going to be able to get her to the blueberry field due to the thin wheels burying up in the sandy, loose soil. But, Curry jiggled the chair, popped a wheelie --a very small wheelie-- and off we went!

Blueberry pickin' is fun and tasty and easy to have good conversation over the row of bushes laden with hundreds of berries. Curry mentioned she wishes for Tabby to have a running wheelchair like Team Hoyt, the father who pushes his adult son in a special wheelchair in marathons and triathlons.

We picked our fill and grazed our way back to shade and our cars! Not sure how, but I hope Curry's birthday wish for Tabby comes true!

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