The Courage to be Different

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Every time a shooting star crossed the sky. Every time a four-leaf clover was picked from its stem. Every time a coin was tossed into a fountain. Every time birthday candles were blown out.

Every time, Ally Taubenheim made the same wish. To live a life without a rare autoimmune disease and skin disorder causing pigment to disappear, leaving white patches in its place. But most of all, she wished to look and feel normal.

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Confidence Found in Experience

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“Kendall has always been a strong personality,” shared her proud father, Dana Theide, who easily recalls vivid memories of his exceptionally active and vocal child. “She was talking and telling stories as early as two-years-old,” he said.

Then, Dana and his wife, Karen, began to see a change. Their social, playful daughter was suddenly keeping to herself and having difficulties relating to and interacting with others. A variety of tests revealed Kendall had Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), closely mirroring Asperger’s Syndrome.

As Kendall grew older, community support played an integral part in her development and in keeping her family connected to helpful resources.

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