AFD Firefighters Participate in National Project

The Zoe Birthday Project

Firefighters at Station 21 have joined the national project to wish Zoe a Happy 11th Birthday. People all across the country are creating special messages for Zoe, taking a picture and sending it to her parents to be in a slideshow for her birthday. When Zoe was 14 months old she was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and has been dependent on her parents ever since. After her diagnoses, she received her first wheelchair and immediately took on the challenge.  A year later when she got her first power wheelchair, there was no stopping her. She has been through 12 intensive spinal surgeries.  Zoe is different than most kids, not because of her diagnosis but because she truly is a special person.  Her parents say she has the biggest heart of anyone they know.  Her philosophy is "be nice." And she follows it to a T.  

She is about to turn 11 years old and has recently begun to doubt herself and her physical differences.  Her parents try not to leave too much room for self pity and fill Zoe's world with love, laughter, and of course - music.  But it is inevitable for a young girl this age to compare herself to her friends.  Zoe hates her body - how it looks and how it can't keep up with her mind.  Her parents struggle with finding clothes that she thinks will hide her differences. In Zoe’s eyes she doesn’t measure up. The project is an attempt to change Zoe's mind about how insignificant she thinks she is- her parents are putting together a birthday video filled with birthday messages and special words of encouragement from people all over the country. The goal is to show her people all over love her and support her.