Audrey Nethery, like many 6-year-olds, loves to dance. However, the adorable little blonde’s ability to dance wasn’t always a given.
Audrey suffers from Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA), a rare and life-threatening condition in which her bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. These cells are responsible for carrying oxygen through her blood. If that wasn’t enough, she was also born with a hole in her heart, along with a cleft palate and stunted growth.
“Fifty percent of individuals with DBA need a blood transfusion every three to five weeks to live,” her father Scott Nethery said, according to the Daily Mirror.
Not that you’d know she’s fighting serious medical conditions: Audrey’s favorite thing to do is dance, and her parents have been uploading videos of her infectious moves to everyone through a Facebook page. Her favorite music to dance to? Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, of course!
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“Once people realize she has a life-threatening illness, it really touches their hearts,” Scott said of Audrey’s viral dance videos. They’ve continued to upload the clips in hopes of raising awareness about DBA and money for research — and hopefully, someday, a cure. Her current treatments involve corticosteroids and blood transfusions, but that’s not enough.
“The goal is to one day find a safe, reliable cure,” the family wrote on the Facebook page, adding that any real cure is years away. “For a rare disease like DBA there are typically too few researchers to truly push research forward.”
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That hasn’t stopped the family from trying — and until then, she’ll keep dancing.
“They comment about how full of life she is,” Scott added, about how his little girl is giving a face to a little-known but extremely dangerous illness. “I know Audrey is succeeding in spreading awareness about DBA with all the comments we receive. There are ups and downs, as DBA is a life-threatening illness with many issues. The bottom line is it’s not easy, but Audrey is totally worth it!”
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