Books-A-Million and Nieman's Last Call are an 18-year-old's dream shopping spree, but college freshman Jaylin Bradford is just overjoyed that she feels good enough to leave home.
“I don't want it to impose on this day, so I need to know my limits,” Bradford said
Bradford has Arnold–Chiari malformation, a chronic illness she describes like a constant headache.
“People mistake it for a common headache,” Bradford said. “It's basically when the back of the brain is descending into the spine, and what it does, it creates a lot of pressure, because the brain fluid can’t flow the right way.”
Kids Wish Network tries easing the pain. They're a charity dedicated to creating memories and improving the quality of life for children facing life-altering circumstances.
“I was also going to take a trip to New York, but because of the cabin pressure, I still have to figure that out. I can't fly yet,” Bradford explained. “And so that really bummed me out, because I had been waiting for that senior trip, and so my mom contacted the Kid Wish Network.”
“We spend a lot of time at the doctor's office or not feeling well or in the hospitals,” Bradford's mom, Kim, said. “So, this day being all about her is just completely awesome.”
As great as this is, Bradford can't escape from the severe pain, pressure and fatigue. It begins to surface in the middle of her shopping, but with her gracious attitude, she rises above it.
“My pain tolerance is pretty high, because I have this chronic illness, so I’m able to do everyday things.”
Bradford says she was diagnosed with Arnold–Chiari malformation at 16. As of now, her doctors have told her there’s only a slim chance it will progress to be worse. In some patients, the disease can lead to speech problems or paralysis.