ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – A little girl in Illinois battling a rare disease had one wish this Christmas, which was to have a puppy companion to help her through life.
Four-year-old Aubrey O’Sullivan is getting her one wish granted, thanks to the St. Louis community.
“Aubrey was completely able-bodied typical toddler, and one day she woke up with a limp,” said Allison O’Sullivan, Aubrey’s mom. “We watched it thinking maybe she injured herself, but it progressed and kind of snowballed.”
Doctors diagnosed Aubrey with a rare disease called “reducing body myopathy,” also known as RBM. The deadly disease attacks the body’s muscles. Allison said only about 30 cases have ever been recorded in medical history. The O’Sullivans are a military family and moved to Scott Air Force Base in March, where they have been continuing to care for Aubrey.
“It shattered our world to know that there was nothing we could do for her,” Allison said. “That it is what it is, and we only have so much time left.”
Aubrey got the attention of Make-a-Wish, which granted her wish in just three months. Volunteer Chad Baker helped make it happen.
“I’ve worked with a lot of kids who were more common and more typical,” Baker said. “I haven’t yet helped kids with more rare diseases, but knowing you’re part of delivering something special to someone is very rewarding. Every smile and every jump for joy is always worth it.”
Aubrey named her new puppy Teddy. Aubrey’s mom said she has received donations from local dog trainers and PetSmart.
The family also started a nonprofit called the Aubrey O’Sullivan Foundation, which aims to find a cure for RBM.
If you wish to donate, you can go to their website at www.curerbm.org.