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Family hosts ‘Sweet Sadie Day’ in honor of child with Turner Syndrome

Family hosts ‘Sweet Sadie Day’ in honor of child with Turner Syndrome

Family hosts ‘Sweet Sadie Day’ in honor of child with Turner Syndrome

Four-year-old Sa’Diyah “Sadie” Pierce...


    With her sweet little smile, Sa’Diyah “Sadie” Pierce melts the hearts of those around her, and without saying a word, this 4-year-old charmer manages to get her point across.

Sadie, the daughter of Samantha Smith and David Pierce, was diagnosed at age 1 with Turner Syndrome. A non-hereditary, chromosomal condition, the syndrome occurs in approximately 1 of every 2,500 female births and in as many as 10 percent of all miscarriages.

Turner Syndrome only occurs in females and results in various health and developmental issues, such as short stature and kidney, heart, vision and hearing problems.

February is Turner Syndrome Awareness Month. The Smith and Pierce families have chosen Valentine’s Day to host “Sweet Sadie Day: For the Love of Sadie,” a fundraiser and day of awareness for the Turner Syndrome Society of the United States in honor of Sa’Diyah.

Smith said Sweet Sadie Day will be a daylong fundraising drive, beginning with participating Statesboro businesses donating a portion of their sales during a specified time or for a particular menu item to the national society.

“The day will wrap up with an adult comedy show at the National Guard Armory in Statesboro at 8 p.m., with portions of the proceeds going to” the Turner Syndrome Society of the United States, she said.

Sadie’s family hopes that Sweet Sadie Day will encourage individuals to learn more about the disorder and help families who have children with a similar diagnosis. Or, as in their case, loved ones are being completely misdiagnosed.

Smith suspected something was wrong with Sadie soon after she was born. Sadie couldn’t keep breast milk down and was initially given a “failure to thrive” diagnosis. She dropped from slightly more than 7 pounds at birth to almost 5 pounds by the time she was 6 months old.

Finally, after months of doctor’s appointments that provided no answers, in October 2010, Sadie was referred to a geneticist in Augusta. A couple of days after Sadie’s first birthday, Smith received the news that Sadie had Turner Syndrome.

Smith said that news changed her and her family’s lives forever.

“It has not been easy, but she is truly the joy of our lives and the light in our home,” she said. “We have learned to do things differently for her, all while paying close attention to the things that she goes through.”

Now 4, Sadie is still non-verbal, has to eat pureed food, and has been walking less than two years because of the developmental delays associated with Turner Syndrome.  While there is no cure for Turner Syndrome, girls and women are able to live full lives with properly managed health care, various types of therapies and prescribed hormones when needed.

Pierce, Sadie’s father, will be showcased during the fundraising event. He admitted that while an adult comedy show may be an unorthodox way to raise awareness and funds, “It’s my way, and I wanted to do something to give back the best way that I could.”

Smith calls Sa’Diyah the family’s butterfly, referencing the symbol that has become associated with Turner Syndrome.

“Butterflies represent the ability to change; the idea that a creature can begin at one stage and develop and grow into something entirely different but still wonderful and beautiful,” she said. “Butterflies also represent that those changes, while difficult and often mysterious, are at the end, worth the struggle.”

To find out more information about Turner Syndrome visit www.turnersyndrome.org.  To make a donation or, if you represent a business and want to participate in Sweet Sadie Day, call (912) 678-1172.

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