One Ormond Beach girl will celebrate months of health issues by getting dolled up for the Shining Star Pageant.
BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER
Eleven-year-old Mikayla Rogers shows off her hospital bracelets from the past six months. She holds them up like gold medals representing the victories she’s had in her own health battles.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” her mother, Cara, said. “And she’s been a trooper through the whole thing.”
Up until August, Mikayla was considered completely healthy by her parents and by her peers. She was in fifth grade at Pine Trials Elementary and was getting ready for middle school by decking out her room in peace signs. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
But in September, Cara noticed Mikayla’s right eye was slightly turning in. By the end of December, she was completely cross-eyed.
“It was almost like being blind,” Cara said. ”She was just overwhelmed. For something like that to happen, it’s usually something big. If she was born with it, it would be one thing, but at age 10 to suddenly go? Something’s wrong.”
Six months of testing from doctors and specialists who could come up with nothing but dead-end results finally ended when a nurse practitioner diagnosed her with Turner’s syndrome, a chromosomal condition caused by complete or partial absence of the second sex chromosome.
Though every case of this syndrome is different, Mikayla’s symptoms include delayed growth, hearing loss and dysfunctional ovaries.
“It could have affected many other things," her mother said. "It could have been worse. We’re lucky in that sense.”
Mikayla had surgery to fix the cross in her eyes, which were caused by Hashimoto’s disease, something else she was recently diagnosed with. Mikayla has also always suffered from back pain, and she found out the other day that she has spina bifida occulta, a medical condition characterized by the incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, and/or meninges.
Instead of letting her newly discovered conditions get the best of her, Mikayla sees the silver lining. Whether it’s getting her hearing aids pink and purple to represent TS or setting her sights on a career as a pediatrician, she’s determined to see the best in her situation.
“Thinking your child is normal and now calling her special-needs,” Cara said, “that has been a real curve on everybody’s part in the family. She is normal, but she has a genetic disorder. If this is to open our eyes to one person or to help another mother out there that has a little girl that isn’t growing right, then our job is done. God blessed us with this for a reason. We’re going to take it and learn from it.”
Mikayla and her autistic, 8-year-old sister, Mikenna, will be participating in the Leisure Services Special Populations Therapeutic Recreation presentation of the 11th-annual Shining STARS Pageant and Fashion Show, at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center.
Fifty-five girls have signed up for the show, to feel like princesses for one afternoon. Unlike your average beauty pageant, these girls don’t compete. Everyone wins a crown.
There will be performances by various groups and singers, some including disabled people. Lori Koplin, coordinator, said the effort behind the pageant is worth it when you get to see the looks on certain people’s faces.
“Being able to witness how the parents feel makes you work a little harder,” Koplin said. “It makes them excited to see their child on stage."
The pageant will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1. Tickets are $4. Call 676-3375.