Sometimes,things happen that cannot be controlled. There are those people in the world that accept it and grow from it.
Kaitlyn Holman, 15, a freshman at Northview High School, is one of those people.
"The hospital is like my second home," she said. "Hospitals can be such a bland place, I have learned to be really positive, and my goal is to make sure that I make the nurses and doctors laugh at least once before I leave."
Holman has Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP) an inflammation of blood vessels. This can result in a skin rash, which is associated with joint inflammation and a cramping pain in the abdomen.
Some experts believe the disease is triggered by an upper respiratory infection (a cold or strep throat) the inflammation in the blood vessels may result in an overzealous immune system response, which targets the blood vessels in the lower extremities first, then results is a purple rash, and over time, organs can be targeted.
HSP is not contagious, but in certain cases may lead to kidney failure.
Though the disease can usually be resolved within four-six weeks, Holman's will not.
"I am special, I am one of the people that are in the 1 percent that develop kidney problems," Holman said. "It is also rare because I am girl and it is more common in boys, and my doctors told me that I will always have it."
"I was diagnosed at 2," she explained. "As a baby, I cried, my parents couldn't hold me because it hurt me, I also had fever seizures. I have all the classic symptoms, once they figured out what it was they began to treat me, it didn't go away."
She takes as many preventative measures as possible.
"I carry hand sanitizer with me and I have masks that I can wear," Holman explained. "I leave class a few minutes earlier than other students and I take the elevator. I also take lots of Vitamin C"
"It takes longer for me to heal," she said. "Where a normal healthy person can be over a cold in a day or two, it can take me over a week, if it doesn't progress first."
She takes routine test to see if there is a chance that she is getting sick. In the last 13 years Holman has had three- kidney biopsies so that doctors can see the damage that is taking place and she has been on kidney dialysis twice.
"The last time I was on dialysis, I was in Pensacola Fla., on vacation with my aunt and other family members. I have scars from the 13 bags that they used, it was the closest that I have ever been to dying," she said. "I was just scared because my parents weren't there."
After she was stabilized, Holman was sent back to Indianapolis to Riley Children's Hospital.
Because of the expense of hospital bills and the trip from Pensacola to Indianapolis, Holman's family is putting together a benefit to help pay for the things that health insurance will not pay for.
"We will be having a ham and bean dinner with corn bread at noon for $5 (while supplies last), Neon Moon Karaoke will be going on from 1-3:30 p.m. and the Midwest Playboys will be playing from 3:30-6 p.m.," event coordinator Nikki Dickinson told The Brazil Times. "We will have autographed items from Rodney Adkins, Bucky Covington, Brad Paisley and Phil Vassar."
Local area businesses have also been participating by giving door prizes or donating their time.
"We are so grateful for the community and the support that they are giving by helping," Dickinson said with a smile. "It really means a lot to us, and we appreciate everything that they have done and are continuing to do."
By all outward appearances, Holman is a healthy happy teenager, who is eager for her driver's license and a car.
"I like to read, and watch TV," she said. "I get into fights with my brother and I play guitar hero."
She is a typical teenager, that doesn't let her illness get the best of her.
"I missed half of my first-grade year because I was in the hospital," she said. "I've spent Christmas and Halloween in the hospital, but I don't let it get me down. I still look to the positive side of things."
With everything that she has been through, Holman knows that the possibility of a kidney transplant is in her future. But she doesn't let that get her down either.
"I want to be a nurse," she said with a smile. "I want to show kids that you can have a normal life when you are out of the hospital. But I don't want to stick them with needles."
For more information or to volunteer call 443-8097 or (251) 269-3830. Send donations to P.O. Box 154 Carbon, 47837 Attn: Kaitlyn's Benefit.
When: Sunday, Nov. 2
Times: noon- 6 p.m.
Where: American Legion Post 2