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Emma's Letter

Dear Dr. Paley,

No words can explain how thankful I am for everything you have done for me. The 16 inches you have given me in my legs and the 4 inches you have given me in my arms will help me live the rest of my life independently. Without you, I would be standing somewhere around 3'6". I am leaving here tomorrow at almost 4'11".

With my first surgery in 2009, you gave me the ability to turn on and off the lights, to wash my hands without a stepping stool, finally stretched out the baby fat in my legs (even though I was already 8 at that time), and much much more.

With my second surgery in 2013, I gained over 6 inches of length. The curve in my back was fixed and by the end, a few months later, I could run a mile in 10 minutes. Before that surgery, I could barely walk a mile without lots of pain in my legs.

About a year later, in 2014, I came back and grew 4 inches in my arms. Boy, was that a piece of cake in comparison to my leg surgeries, especially since the end results were so amazing. Because of that surgery, I can brush my hair, go to the washroom, and give tall people high fives, all with no help.

Now here I am, finishing my fourth and final limb lengthening surgery. About a week ago I got to ride the Hulk rollercoaster for the first time. Without you, 54" would've been just a joke. Now, I can do anything and everything! Although my limb lengthening journey definitely wasn't a cake walk, it was definitely worth it. Whether it was during my second surgery, and I was having nerve problems, or during my fourth surgery, and I had that infection, you were always making sure I was doing okay, and my problems were being fixed as soon as possible. Thank you for taking time off your holidays to help with my infection surgeries. They worked because I am potentially infection free!

Sixteen inches, six years, a few headaches, many new friends, and a way better quality of life, all thanks to you and the amazing things you have accomplished. I am forever grateful!

Emma Harms
Fargo, North Dakota
September 11, 2015