"Hello folks! I am Whitney, I’m Melissa’s younger sister. She has asked me to write a little bit about my perspective of CMT having lived with Melissa while we were younger. First off, let me get out in the open that there is NO better older sister than Melissa. She is an amazing person that is so willing to do anything (including answer my five hundred calls a day), and is so caring and so strong that CMT will never have a chance to ever run her life. Maybe slow things down a bit, but in the end she will kick it in the BUTT!!
I still don’t fully understand everything about CMT, and I learn more and more about it the older she gets and the older Addison gets. It is definitely different as a kid growing up with a sister with CMT because you don’t really know any different. For all I knew, Melissa just didn’t like running around with me, or playing sports as much as I did. It hasn’t been until recently that I realized it wasn't that she didn’t want to… it’s that she couldn’t. There is no question in my mind that God knew what child in the family was going to be able to handle the disease, He chose the right one. Melissa has handled CMT the best anyone could. I never remember her EVER complaining about having CMT. Whether it was the pain after surgery or the brace she wore, she never once said anything negative about it.
However, Melissa having CMT has led us to some amazingly fun adventures. Here are a few pluses we have been able to have:
- Close parking at stores
- Being able to ride the rides at Lagoon TWICE! (As a kid, I thought it was the coolest thing Melissa was able to get us on the rides, let alone let us go two times!)
- It is extremely entertaining for us and others when we go to IKEA and we have a massively long train (picture this: me pushing Melissa in a wheelchair, while she is pushing the shopping cart in front of her.) Great fun at IKEA weaving that around the aisles.
CMT is something that needs more attention in the world. I am glad that it is talked about more and the professionals are realizing that something needs to be done. 1 in every 2,500 is a very big percentage when you think of other diseases that happen 1 in every 10,000 or 1 in every 100,000. The only thing I can hope for, for Melissa and Addison, is that someday (soon) there is treatment to help and hopefully someday a cure."