Tessa Jean Smith is 7 years old and lives in Kansas City, MO with her brother Sam (who just turned 3) and her mom and dad, Susan and Rob. When Tessa was born, she had a rare bone disease in her right leg called multiple enchondromatosis (or "Ollier's disease"). We didn't find out about it until she was 4 years old and we found that her right leg wasn't growing as fast or as straight as the left one. Her right leg bows outward and is a few inches shorter than the left leg. She has to wear a built-up platform shoe on the right to make up the difference in the leg lengths.
On January 27th, Tessa Jean will have an operation in Baltimore to begin a long process of surgically lengthening the right leg about 3 inches. She will have to be there for a couple of months for rehabilitation, so today we bought a nice, big suitcase and we're getting some things packed and ready for the trip. We will all be flying from Kansas City to Baltimore on Saturday.
Here's a picture of Tessa Jean during our recent trip to Baltimore in September to see her surgeon, Dr. John Herzenberg. In a few months, she won't have to wear the built-up right shoe!