Personnel in Bldg. 3000 wore yellow clothes, bracelets and ribbons to spark conversation May 6, for Wishbone Day.
The day is intended to promote international awareness about Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as “brittle bone” disease. The disease is caused by genetic defects that affect the body’s ability to create strong bones. While there is a range of severity in each case, OI is characterized by fragile bones that break easily. Currently, there is no cure for the disease.
This year’s theme for OI Awareness Week and Wishbone Day is “share your unbreakable spirit.”
For Mary Bogart, 412th Force Support Squadron, Human Resources program analyst, the yellow clothes and accessories are a symbol of moral support. Bogart knows the disease well since her nine-year-old granddaughter, Mya, is diagnosed with OI.
“Wishbone day is an awareness day, both to educate folks and to recognize the accomplishments of those with OI,” said Bogart. “My granddaughter has well over, probably 30 broken bones; she’s been in a body cast for a little over a year now.”
Mya is a student at Branch Elementary School, but has had to participate in the homeschool program since November because of her disease. For the last four years, she has lived her life from the seat of a wheel chair, but her family “prays she will stand and walk again” someday.
When she was six weeks old, Mya experienced her first broken bone, her femur.
“First break is always the femur when you pick up their legs to put the diapers on. OI children break very easily. Sometimes they fall, sometimes they don’t. They move and they break, it’s sad.”
Bogart shared that OI is a “sad disease” because it can be falsely diagnosed as abuse. According to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, like abuse, fractures may be found in multiple stages of healing and are often more severe than expected from the caregiver’s explanation of what happened.
In Mya’s case, Bogart is thankful that she has found a great deal of support.
“I am thankful to so many people here at Edwards – my managers and their understanding, Branch Elementary teachers and staff for all they have done for Mya. The Edwards School Liaison, Christy McCoy, and†the things she’s accomplished at the school has made a safer environment for Mya and her wheelchair.”
About her granddaughter, Bogart said, “Mya is such a brave little girl. She’s been in many casts and many surgeries and lots of pain and yet still keeps a smile. The ‘Unbreakable Spirit’ is so true for her, broken bones, but unbreakable spirit. She is my hero.”
Wishbone day is celebrated each year on May 6.