"Thanks to the Lord, we still have her for another day and that's why my day continues, and why my day goes on, because we're blessed with her for another day," says Starr Fritz.
She's her little girl and her angel here on earth when Whitney was born 8 years ago; her life expectancy was one day. “She was diagnosed with Arthrogyrposis," says Starr.
Whitney also suffers from 2 types of curvatures to her spine, crushing her left lung. Whitney had her first surgery in 1999. An artificial titanium rib was inserted in order to allow her chest cavity to expand. In October, she'll undergo her 18th major surgery.
"Her left lung since we've been doing these procedures is a 3rd of the way open now--and that 3rd of the way has started to function, so they know its working. And this has to continue doing this until she's fully grown," says Starr.
But the Fritz's insurance provider doesn't cover the costs of these surgeries because they're considered experimental, even though the FDA approved the procedures last March. The Fritz's continue to file appeals.
"Last year out of pocket we paid we paid $30,000 in medical bills--sometimes I wonder if I'm going to be able to get a gallon of milk, or a loaf of bread, because you still have to live. We can't deprive her of everything because who knows how long she's going to be here and we want to give her the best life she can possibly have," says Starr.
Starr says it's Whitney’s smile--her compassion--her wisdom beyond her years that keeps the family strong...and her sense of humor--that keeps them laughing. "I'm a girly-girl," says Whitney.
Starr-and her husband Randy have infinite dreams for their daughter and despite obstacles they'll make sure all of their little angel’s wishes come true.
If you would like to make a donation, you can write a check to the Whitney K. Fritz Benefit Fund
501 7th Street
PO Box 1537 Rockford, IL 61110...
Or send a donation to:
Whitney K. Fritz Benefit Fund
4224 Lakeside Drive
Rockford, IL 61101
You can also drop off donations at any Amcore Bank payable to the Whitney K. Fritz Benefit Fund.