Local Young Lady With Spina Bifida Strives For Independence - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Local Young Lady With Spina Bifida Strives For Independence

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GEORGETOWN, Del. -  Born with a debilitating disease a brave young woman from Georgetown has endured a lot of hardship in her life, but it's a journey that's helped her grow into the wonderful young lady she is today. 

"Everybody loves Bobbie Jo, and everybody calls her for advice and talks to her, and she's just a joy to be around," mother Jonell DeHaven said. 

From her big smile, positive attitude and infectious personality, you'd never be able to tell 24-year-old Bobbie DeHaven has struggled all her life. 

"I can't feel anything from my waist down, and I have to catheterize myself every four hours from my belly button," Bobbie said. 

Born with spina bifida, she's made more than 150 trips to the hospital and endured the pain of 100 surgeries. 

"At one point she was actually in a coma for 12 days, and we didn't think we were going to have her anymore. But by the grace of God she came back to us," her mother said. 

The major turning point came just three years ago. 

"After I turned 21 it was very difficult, especially changing from the children's world of medicine, because that's all cute and cuddly and everybody does everything for you, and then going into the adult world, you have to depend on yourself pretty much," Bobbie said. 

"It was very difficult for her realizing that hey, I'm 21 years old now and I have to make my place in this world," Jonell said. 

But with the support of friends, family and her doctors, she's moving forward.

"I take it one day at a time, and I just have to grow from what I've had to deal with in my life. I want to be as independent as I possibly can be and get a job and hopefully someday live on my own," Bobbie said. 

She's using her story as a platform to help others. 

"I want to see her to be able to make a difference in this world, as she's a self advocate and she's on the disabilities council for the State of Delaware. She can really help a lot of people who have similar issues as she has - give them advice, give them courage and say hey, this isn't so bad, you're going through a rough road. I did, but the grass is going to be greener on the other side, you'll be able to do things with your life. I see maybe four years down the road, she's out on her own, she's got a good job, she's driving and her life is full," her mother said. 

A big part of her journey to reach independence is to be able to drive, but she needs a wheelchair accessible van that's worth $50,000. To help Bobbie reach her goals, you can donate to her fund online HERE. You can also make a donation at WSFS bank in Long Neck. You can send a check in Bobbie DeHaven's name. 




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