Community Rallies Around Young Woman Suffering From Birth Defect - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Community Rallies Around Young Woman Suffering From Birth Defect

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ALLEN, Md. - At the Decorating Delmarva event back in November, we introduced you to a young lady from Allen, Maryland suffering from a crippling birth defect. She's been an inspiration and a blessing to many, but she needs support now more than ever.

Born with Spinal Bifida, life for Bekah Fleming has been more than just a challenge. "I have the most severe type, which is where the nerves are exposed," she said.

"I'll never forget the day she was born. They got her all cleaned up and set her on the table over on the other side of the room and I said, 'What's that on her back?' and they went crazy. It was scary. We didn't know what was going on or what was going to happen. The bone was open and her spinal cord looped outside of her body at birth," her father John Fleming said.

Despite 27 surgeries and eventually becoming paralyzed from the waist down, Bekah manages to keep her head held high. "It's been very tough, but I've had great support from friends and family. When I was little, I was able to walk with crutches and braces on my legs. I was always trying to get into what my brothers were getting into. My brothers were always there trying to make sure I could do whatever I could, trying to make sure I got to do stuff," she said. During the hardest times, she leans on her faith to pull her through. "When I was in 8th grade, I had a bone infection and I was on bed rest. My brother Johnny, my oldest brother was in Iraq at that time. I was getting really depressed, but then I just knew I would get through this because God is going to get me through this," she said.

"She takes after her mom. She's always happy. She's tough. She had very strong upper body strength She even would arm wrestle boys in high school and beat some of them. She was really strong," John said.

But three years ago, her condition took a turn for the worse. "I've been slowly losing my upper body strength. We've only figured out that it's poor blood flow to the front of my spine. It's not Spinal Bifida related," Bekah said. "she had started over at Wor Wic Community College, and on a normal day, she could get herself out of bed, take care of herself. But halfway through the semester, all of the sudden, she just couldn't push herself around. We knew something was wrong, but I had no idea what was going on and still don't really know," her father said.

It's a condition that's baffled doctors. "The doctors at Hopkins had told us that they've never seen this before. She's the first person with this low blood flow to her spinal cord, and they have no idea what's causing it," John said.

Bekah says she's doubtful she'll ever regain her upper body strength again, but her motto is, "just don't give up." "It's tough at times, but I know I'm like this for a reason. God's got a reason for it, and that's what gets me through it."

Because of her deteriorating condition, Bekah and her family are in desperate need of a wheelchair accessible van, in addition to house upgrades to accommodate her needs, and a new wheelchair ramp. Back in July, a group of family friends started a fundraising effort called "Blessings for Bekah" and the family tells us the support has exceeded expectations.

Chick-Fil-A has donated their booth on Fridays and Saturdays at Decorating Delmarva to help raise money for Rebekah. They're selling wreaths for $25 and ornaments for $7. Go to http://decoratingdelmarva.com/ for the details.

For information upcoming fundraiser events and to make a donation, go to http://blessingsforbekah.webs.com/. They also have a Facebook page, Blessings for Bekah.

 

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