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Saturday May 23rd, 2015 12:20AM

Ride to Give raises $80K for Gainesville girl suffering from numerous medical conditions

By Staff
Last year Ride to Give co-founder Dave Nazaroff rode 900 miles by bicycle to benefit Tripp Halstead of Winder, who had suffered a severe head injury when a tree limb fell on him. He raised $180,000 along the way - and recently headed south from Nyack, New York, again - this time to raise money for a Gainesville girl.<br /> <br /> That journey - which started July 6 - ended Saturday, and Ride to Give reports that $80,000 was raised.<br /> <br /> According to the Ride to Give Website, Callie Madison Truelove was born on June 27, 2003, by emergency c-section due to her dropping heart rate. At two months old and after several trips to the hospital for choking and non responsive spells, she was transported to Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta. <br /> <br /> There her parents Tabitha and Keith were told Callie had a heart murmur, Williams Syndrome, and numerous other medical conditions. After consulting with doctors to discuss her medical issues, they were told that her conditions were very severe and that they had done all that they could do. They were told to take Callie home, love her and spend every minute like it was the last. They said Callie wouldn't live to see her first birthday.<br /> <br /> But Callie did live to see her first birthday and has now seen nine more but struggles struggles everyday with the simplest of tasks. Functioning on a 5-year-old level, she does not read or write and must be watched every minute of every day. She has never slept through the night. She has moderate intellectual disability but is very verbal.<br /> <br /> Williams Syndrome children have an overly friendly personality referred to as a "cocktail personality." They are extremely gregarious and "have never met a stranger" which can be a bad thing. Callie has no fear of anything at all and no concept of day to day dangers. She has the ability to hold very detailed, thoughtful conversations but does not always understand the meaning of the words she is using or context. She struggles following one step direction and staying on task. Even though she suffers day to day from seizures, high blood pressure, her heart condition, balance issues, body and spatial awareness, asthma, anxiety, and meltdowns, Callie never complains. She recently went through her first open heart surgery to repair part of her aorta. <br /> <br /> For the rest of her life she will need the constant care of her parents and/or a specialized living facility for adults with Williams. <br /> <br /> Callie's mom Tabitha writes, "She has taught us to love unconditionally, love like there is no tomorrow, live life to the fullest, help everyone and anything, and see the good in all situations, no matter what happens." One of Callie's doctors said she reminds him of what a rainbow looks like. <br /> <br /> Sunshine on a Ranney Day built Callie a therapy/play room above the family garage complete with therapy equipment and a jungle theme, and gave her a full bedroom "butterfly" makeover. Ride to Give will fund the project with a little left over for Callie's care.
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