Our daughter Jani was an active four-year-old. Every morning she would jump out of bed and get ready for preschool. One Friday my wife and I noticed that she seemed to be limping, but she assured us that she was OK.
But by Monday morning, Jani couldn’t get out of bed. Something was wrong with her legs. We took her to the hospital and were blessed to meet a doctor who recognized right away that Jani had Legg Calves Perthes, a disease that affected her hip bones. Because of his unique and specialized training, the doctor immediately knew how to help Jani.
For one year, Jani would have to wear a cast that would keep her legs widely separated so her hip bones could recover. She would not be able to walk or bathe. Then, for one more year, she would have to wear a brace that would continue to keep her legs widely separated but connected by a flexible bar so she could move her legs a little bit. We were very worried. How would she play? Would she be teased? She would have to be carried everywhere.
To our surprise, Jani never complained. She couldn’t walk or run, but she put roller skates on her feet and hands and learned to get around that way. She also scooted herself up and down stairs without our help. Her brace made a clicking noise, and sometimes other children would tease her. But she didn’t worry about what anyone else said. In fact, she learned how to ride a bike with her brace! She always woke up with a smile. How could we be sad for her when she was so happy? Jani taught me that a positive attitude can help us rise above our trials.