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Going for Gold

NAME: Andrea

TREATED FOR: Fibrous Dysplasia

LOCATION: Shriners Hospitals for Children – Mexico

Andrea sustained a fractured femur when she was 11 months old. Her parents took her to the hospital where her leg was casted and she went home. In the couple of years that followed, she experienced two more fractures, and then a third. Her doctors decided to place an intramedullary nail, which caused the bone to be infected, causing Andrea to be hospitalized for almost a month. A friend of Andrea’s grandmother told them about Shriners Hospitals for Children — Mexico.

When Andrea and her family arrived at the hospital with her X-rays in hand, they received a diagnosis almost immediately: Andrea had fibrous dysplasia in her left femur. Andrea sustained two more fractures, one of which left her in a cast for six months. The physicians at the Mexico Shriners Hospital presented Andrea’s family with two options: removing her leg or doing a bone transplant. At the age of 5, Andrea had her leg amputated and started a new life. Today, Andrea is 15 years old and on the Mexican National Paralympic swimming team. She swims 5 to 6 kilometers a day and only sees her family on weekends.

She has traveled to competitions throughout Mexico and in Brazil. Andrea competed in Indianapolis, Indiana, to qualify for the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, in 2019, and she will participate in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, next summer.