Leigha, spina bifida patient

Jul 19, 2019 / Pediatric Developmental Disabilities

Share Your Story: Dancing Queen

Meet Leigha, a patient who is treated by the experts in our Pediatric Developmental Disabilities department. Learn more about her journey below. 

Blog written by Leigha's mother, Anjanette, of Rowlett. 

Leigha is a 12-year-old dancer that lives with spina bifida. At birth, she had a large tumor that had attached itself to her spinal cord and tethered it, causing nerve damage and multiple complications. When she was 3 months old, doctors decided to operate on her spine to untether the spinal cord. This started years of surgeries for Leigha.
We discovered Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children when she was about 9 months old. Our family feels blessed and thankful for the constant care, support and education we have and still receive from all the doctors and nurses. Through the years, Leigha has had numerous procedures. She has been taking multiple medications since she was 3 and lives with chronic pain and other complications.

Leigha’s story is not simply about her condition, but rather a story of triumph, hard work and determination.

Leigha is an inspiration to many and our family’s “Dancing Queen.” At the age of 6, Leigha decided that she no longer wanted to do her special needs cheer team and asked to dance at her sister’s dance studio, Beyond Belief Dance Company. Initially, we were apprehensive because this dance studio is very competitive and holds the dancers to high standards. In spite of our misgivings and doubts, we enrolled her in the new studio. Soon after, Leigha had to have another spinal surgery and we thought this may put a stop to her dancing, but we were proven wrong. Unbeknownst to myself and our family, a dance team jacket and costume had been ordered for Leigha and she was a part of her first competitive dance team! Since then, she has never looked back.
With the support of Scottish Rite Hospital, her dance instructors and her sister Kiana, Leigha now dances with the best of the best! She has lead team dances, won first place with high honors with her solos, received convention scholarships and has been a featured dancer on the Netflix original show, “Dancing Queen.” Leigha’s success is largely due to the amazing and thorough care she receives from the hospital.
We are eternally grateful to Dr. Adams. The team at Scottish Rite Hospital has given our family hope when we were scared. They are thorough with every aspect of her care and took the time to educate us as parents on how to best care for her at home. Leigha also has the confidence to take care of herself and can meet any challenge that comes her way.
Leigha has been able to attend spina bifida camp, which has been a life changer because she realizes she isn’t alone. There are not enough hours in the day for us to give praises to Scottish Rite Hospital. From the bottom of our hearts, we are thankful and appreciative.



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