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A Sandy teen is trying to help toddler with a rare brain disorder

A fundraiser for Myiah

Anyone would say Rebecca Woodcock has a heart of gold. When the Sandy High School Senior heard she had to do a senior project prior to graduation, she immediately thought of a member of her church family.

Little Myiah Lowry, 3, of Estacada has Rett syndrome, which was discovered in 2010 after she stopped meeting her growth milestones -- abilities such as walking, talking, feeding herself and gaining weight.

Today, the nearly 4-year-old struggles to maintain her weight and requires seven-day 24-hour care and monitoring because she needs help with most ordinary activities.

Rebecca wants to help the Lowrys provide enough therapy to make a difference for Myiah.

'(The Lowrys) are part of our (church) family, too, so we need to help them out' she said. 'I've seen how much she has progressed, and I have hope.'

Therapists are trying to teach Myiah's brain to do the things other unaffected children do instinctively.

Myiah wears orthotics on both feet and ankles to help her as she tries to walk and an orthotic brace on her arm to prevent bending the elbow and chewing on her hands.

Besides the therapy her parents, Heidi and Brian, provide every waking minute, Myiah is served by seven professional therapists who specialize in developing specific brain functions.

A girl's gift

As her senior project, Rebecca is organizing a large rummage sale as a fundraiser to help pay for Myiah's therapy, and she is asking for donations to this cause.

She has a few partners, including donation of the use of the Sandy Community Center for the Feb. 4 sale, the donated use of a storage unit at Stow-A-Way Mini Storage on Ruben Lane, a donation from the Sandy UPS store of flyers to announce the sale, use of her aunt's truck to haul sale items, help from her schoolmates and lots of assistance from her mother - Cheryl Reese - and other family members.

This project will not go unnoticed because the school's requirements for the senior project include Rebecca presenting her work to adults from the Sandy area and to the entire senior class. She'll also present it to her church congregation.

Those presentations are part of the widespread education Rebecca is offering. She's hoping to find even more support for either the family or the foundation funding genetic research.

She also intends to create a poster with a story of Myiah's short life and how it began to go downhill last year. And she's pretty sure that a photo of the little girl will turn some hearts and help fill the collection jar.

The Lowrys have called the 24-7 effort they are now giving 'Miracle for Myiah,' and Rebecca wants to see that miracle fulfilled.


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