Ayla was diagnosed in 2004, at 3-1/2, with ITP. This is a life threatening blood disorder where her own body (the antibodies to be exact), attacks her own platelets. This leaves her with about 3,000 platelets (the normal range is 150,000 to 450,000), which means that when she bleeds, nothing will stop it. She has had hundreds of hospital stays, 5 trips to the PICU and has almost bled to death and died 5 times. She has had literally hundreds of treatments, almost 400 blood draws, finger pokes and IV’s, had her spleen removed, and has led her life, for the most part, fearing for her life whenever she started to bleed (a bad bloody nose could easily last 15 hours). She does not know a life without hospitals, doctor’s and waking up with tubes coming out of her. I could go on and on and on as to what she has dealt with over the last 12-1/2 years. She is the bravest, warrior princess I have ever known (says the proud Dad). In spite of this, she is going to be a junior in high school, has a 4.13 (only 1 B in 2 years), is an accomplished pianist and violinist (she has never been able to play sports), sits in the top community symphony as a Violin I, spent a year as the Children’s Hospital Ambassador, a year as the Children’s Miracle Network Colorado Champion and is currently the President of YAC (Youth Advisory Council) at Children’s Hospital. Stuff like this make her feel special so we love being a part of it.