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Every team needs a leader, a focus and an inspiration to successfully work towards a common cause, Dehleana Bartman is that person for dozens in the community.
Dehleana is just like every other 11 year old girl, except alongside homework and playing with friends—she is battling against Cystic Fibrosis: the leading fatal genetic disease in this country. Dehleana is a recent fifth grade graduate of Colebrookedale Elementary and is almost always on the go, maintaining a positive attitude towards life.
Team Dehleana has been formed by friends and family to honor Dehleana, and to raise awareness and funds. The team participates in the Great Strides CF Walk and has raised over $5,500.00.
The team participated in a walk this past May at Kimberton Park in Phoenixville. This was the first year the team has walked, and it couldn’t have gone better. Superior Water Company sponsored all t shirts for team Dehleana along with a donation.
Dehleana was diagnosed with CF in April 2011. Throughout this battle, Dehleana endures good and bad days. When she is feeling well, she enjoys attending the Boyertown YMCA dances, being on the computer, spending time with her family, and playing with her friends.
“She does not allow CF to limit her or define who she is,” said Dehleana’s mother, Donna Bartman.
Since birth, Dehleana has struggled to maintain good health. According her to mother, Dehleana was born at 31 weeks with mild cerebral palsy hemiparesis on the left side, seizure disorder, developmental delay, and hearing impaired as well as failure to thrive.
On a daily basis, the 11 year old takes over 35 pills, uses various inhalers and nasal sprays, participates in nebulizer treatments and chest physical therapy, as well as a G Tube for supplemental feedings to support her growth.
“Since Dehleana diagnoses, we have learned a lot about ourselves, and about CF, but mostly about Dehleana and how strong she is when it comes to the fight,” said Donna. “Dehleana knows she has two jobs—one is to play and be a kid, and the other is to stay healthy and follow through with treatments and medications.”
The disease has damaged her pancreas therefore she is no longer able to digest food on her own. Enzymes must be taken every time she eats food in order to digest properly; this is something she will need to for do the rest of her life.
CF is now affecting Dehleana’s lungs causing lung infections and constant sinus infections, resulting in numerous trips to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The Bartman family is grateful to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the support it has received over the years which has led to medications and treatments. There has been a YouTube video created to share Dehleana’s story: http://youtu.be/XXsO91BTCJo.
Dehleana now looks forward summer vacation, and celebrating her 12th birthday along the Delaware beach with her family.