Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Veronica is eleven years old. She is a typical little girl. Last week she rode a pony and played volleyball. Yesterday she went to church with family and friends. Today she played at the piano, trying to pick out tunes by ear, and doing an excellent performance. None of this is unusual for an eleven year old girl. Next week, when she finishes her visit to Florida she will go home and back to school. There she will continue her studies to learn mathematics, language, writing skills and other subjects common to a fourth or fifth grader. She will look forward to her 12th birthday in August and to her next visit to Florida in December or January 2012. But that is where Veronica being a typical eleven year old girl ends. There are no ponies where Veronica lives. There is no piano. When she gets home Veronica will not ride a bus to school, she will ride a wheelchair. When she gets to school, two miles away, she will park her wheelchair and use her walker to get to her classes. You see Veronica has no legs. Her wheelchair and walker are donations from Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, Florida. Shriners also gave her artificial legs with which she is learning to walk again. All this is possible through the kind donations of supporters of Shriners Hospital and organizations like The Luz Fund. Veronica is in the fourth grade. Yes, she may be a year behind others of her age. But she has already made up much of her studies, lost while she lay in Los Ninos Hospital in Lima, Peru, for two years, after losing her legs to a blood infection. Veronica then lost her left arm, near her elbow, to a similar infection. But she is quite adept as a one hand piano player and wants to learn to play using her good hand and her left hand prosthesis, also a gift from Shriners. Veronica has a friend, also from Peru, who could not make the trip to Tampa this year. Luz Estephanie lost her right arm in an accident several years ago. Veronica said that she and Luz could make one good piano player. Veronica is already planning her College and University studies. She wants to study Psychology and become a doctor. This is one determined young girl who is working very hard, every day while at Shriners, to learn to walk again. She will make it. She is learning English so she can attend University. She will become a doctor, and play the piano, and ride a pony or a horse or anything she wants. She is that determined and thus far, has shown the ability and the courage to do what she wants. Thanks to Shriners and The Luz Fund. You can read about Veronica’s progress, talk to her on her blog, or email her by going to her blogspot at: http://veronica-andes.blogspot.com/

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