Finley mom raises money to help ill daughter

Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldAugust 2, 2013 

Anne Hardin, 6, of Finley, stands with her younger brothers Jonathan, 4, and Jordin, 3. She also has a 11⁄2-year-old sister who isn’t pictured. Anne has a degenerative hip condition known as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Fundraisers are planned to help offset the cost of her medical care.

COURTESY KATY HARDIN — Courtesy Katy Hardin

Anne Hardin loves to run and play with her younger siblings.

But the 6-year-old Finley girl has to take it easy now because of a degenerative hip condition known as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

She had surgery a few months ago and wears a brace virtually around the clock.

She still can ride horses and swim -- two therapies that are good for her hip and that she really loves, her mom said.

But she's in pain. It's been a difficult several months.

"It's hard to watch your child hurting. We wish we could take it away from her," said her mom, Katy Hardin, adding that the family believes God has a plan and "we trust in him in everything we do."

They're hoping the community will step in to help.

Katy Hardin is selling Perthes awareness bracelets and organizing car washes to raise money to offset the costs associated with her daughter's treatment. Anne, who was diagnosed in February, is being seen by Dr. Dror Paley of the Paley Advanced Limb Lengthening Institute at St. Mary's Medical Center in Florida. He is a leading physician treating Perthes.

The family has medical insurance, but it doesn't cover all the expenses, including travel, Katy Hardin said.

Perthes affects one in 5,000 children and can lead to problems including limited motion and arthritis. Its cause is unknown.

It involves the loss of blood supply to the rounded head of the femur bone, causing all or part of that section of the bone to die.

In some cases, surgery is needed.

With Perthes, "the treatment is very age- and stage-related," Dr. Paley told the Herald. In Anne's case, she was a candidate for a procedure that involves drilling a hole into the femoral head so blood vessels can grow.

That was done in April. The Hardins -- Anne's dad is Justin Hardin -- are planning another trip to Florida in October for the 6-year-old's six-month check-up. At that point they'll have a better idea of next steps, Katy Hardin said.

On a recent morning at home, Anne watched a movie with her brothers and sister -- she's the oldest of four siblings.

She wore her brace over her jeans and didn't complain about it.

Sometimes, when her hip especially hurts, "her attitude is out the door," her mother said with a smile.

But, "for the most part, she puts a smile on her face and deals with it," Katy Hardin said, calling Anne "a tough girl."

A car wash is planned from noon to 4 p.m. today at Banner Bank, 3211 W. Court St., Pasco. A second car wash is planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 10 at the HAPO Community Credit Union at 631 Gage Blvd., Richland.

A donation account also has been set up at Banner Bank.

More information: www.facebook.com/annesjourney.

-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @saraTCHerald

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