Charlotte's Web

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    Charlotte Bradley of Ferdinand, 3, became upset when she told by her mother, Anissa, that she couldnÕt have one of her birthday cupcakes sitting on the stove in their kitchen Dec. 16. When Charlotte was born, her muscles were weak and she did not eat. At three months old, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome. The congenital disease effects many parts of the body, but is most notably known for causing a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    While Anissa made lunch June 24, Charlotte slipped into the refrigerator and began biting a bag of chicken. Because of the insatiable appetite that comes with PWS, the Bradleys may have to redesign their kitchen to include a pantry with a keypad entry and place locks on the refrigerator and cabinets. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Anissa, right, held out a green bean that Charlotte refused to eat during dinner Dec. 16. Charlotte wanted baked beans. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Individuals with Prader-Willi often suffer from anxiety and can quickly become frustrated often from decreased proprioception, meaning it is difficult to feel your body in space. Charlotte played with her doll in a container of beans June 6. The sensory input from playing in the beans can be overwhelming but it helps Charlotte to become desensitized to a feeling she may not like. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Occupational therapist Dana Hopf spun Charlotte in a swing on Jan. 22 at O.T. for Kids in Jasper. Charlotte does occupational therapy once a week to help with the issues she has with moving through space. The swinging in circles and different directions is to refine her vestibular system. The spinning activates snail-shaped structures in her ear which tell the brain where her body is in space. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Anissa used a deep touch method of rubbing Charlottes foot with a brush on Aug. 26. Because of her body having issues of feeling its way through space, the deep pressure applied helps to send messages form her skin sensors to her brain to let her know where her feet are in space and can also desensitize her to a certain touch or feeling she may not like. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Wagner Family Dental sponsor ad

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    Occupational therapist Jill Bacon, right, assisted Charlotte as she rode a horse for the first time June 24 at Riding Hope, a therapeutic riding program for children with special needs near Mount Vernon. The riding program will help strengthen CharlotteÕs posture and combat scoliosis. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    After she finished her lunch at Fat & Sassy in Huntingburg on Sept. 13, Charlotte peaked in the display case to look at different foods. Anissa is cautious about taking Charlotte to eat at restaurants because of the lack of healthy choices. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    ÒFrom day to day you just donÕt know what reaction she will have,Ó Anissa said about CharlotteÕs mood. Anissa worked on getting Charlotte to calm down and brush her teeth, a task she normally enjoys, before bed Dec. 16. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Fat & Sassy waitress Jenny Egbert of Huntingburg greeted Charlotte after she arrived at the Huntingburg restaurant for lunch Sept. 13. Anissa frequently takes Charlotte for lunch at the restaurant because Fat & Sassy serves a whole wheat veggie wrap that isnÕt on the menu but fits CharlotteÕs diet. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Charlotte reacted to her mother, Anissa, putting on a brace that wrapped around her waist and each leg before nap on June 6. She would wear the brace when she slept to help with her hip dysplasia. But the doctor stopped having her wear it in August and said they will wait to see how severe the dysplasia is when she gets older to determine how to correct it. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Anissa relaxed with Charlotte for several minutes June 6 before putting her down for a nap. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    CharlotteÕs father, Chuck, carried Charlotte, as they led family and friends on a walk in 18th Street Park in Ferdinand during a fundraiser and awareness walk for Prader-Willi on Sept. 14. About 90 people participated in the walk, raising more than $4,000 for The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    While playing in her familyÕs living room June 6, Charlotte paused to stare out the front window of the Ferdinand home. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald