LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Miriam Whitlock has a passion for animals. So, it only madesense we found the McCutcheon freshman at one of her favoriteplaces, watching the ducks at Columbian Park.
"I want to do something with animals, like maybe open a zoo, orstudying animals in the wild," Miriam Whitlock said.
Miriam was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 2001, after herkindergarten teacher noticed she had trouble walking in a straightline.
Miriam was diagnosed with Frederich's Ataxia.
"We went to the Internet and looked it up, even though that iswhat the doctor told us not to do. And, it pretty much told useventually she wouldn't walk, she wouldn't be able to use her handsto write," Steve Whitlock said.
Recent surgery made it even more difficult for her to move. Thismeans she needs a lot of help from her parents and siblings, butthat had not stopped this teen from attending events like the MDASummer Camp.
When it was canceled this year over fears of an H1N1 flu virusoutbreak, she was disappointed. Kids with muscular dystrophyalready have a weakened immune system, so organizers didn't want totake that risk.
"It's kind of a bummer I didn't get to go, but it was for a goodreason," Miriam Whitlock said.
The Whitlock family said they depend on the Muscular DystrophyAssociation. Steve Whitlock said he never believed this diseasecould affect his family.
They hope some day there is a cure. For now, Miriam said anyglimmer of hope gets her through the day.
A shooting on Lafayette's south side is under investigation.
It's been nearly a month since a tornado damaged Southwestern Middle School and Mintonye Elementary School, giving faculty the task of helping students transition to their new surroundings.
Donations are being accepted to help around 300 seniors receive a holiday gift.