This is Berkley.
It’s time for our annual Halloween WOD! This year we are WODing to benefit the sweetest little girl, Berkley Pierce. Berkley has a genetic disorder called Pallister-Killian Syndrome. She has faced so many challenges in her short life. I am honored to be able to raise some money to hopefully off-set some of the financial burden so that her parents can just focus on her care and her numerous therapies! We have always come together to rally for good causes and this one is for a little girl right here in our community!
We will only be having ONE partner WOD tomorrow, October 31st, at 6 pm. COSTUMES ARE REQUIRED. There is a suggested donation of $20 per person to help raise funds for Berkley. This WOD is always so much fun and cameras and visitors are welcome and encouraged. Lets have an AWESOME turn out and show Berkley what a star she is in our CrossFit community!!
The partner WOD will be as follows:
First 5 minutes:
1 partner hangs from the pull up bar while the other does air squats.
Second 5 minutes:
1 partner holds the dip support position while the other does sit ups.
Repeat for two rounds (20 minutes total) switch as often as you’d like.
I had Devon, Berkley’s momma, write a short little summary of their story. See that below.
We found out at 20 weeks that something was wrong in my pregnancy. It was thought she had down syndrome, but after taking my blood they ruled that out. I was offered an amnio to find out exactly what was wrong, but we chose not to. We knew we would love her anyway, and didn’t want to know. Looking back, I am very glad we made that decision. Everything you google about PKS is very grim. Had I known her syndrome, and googled it, I think I would have terminated the pregnancy. Which is something I DO NOT agree with, but google can be very deceiving. So we prayed hard every chance we could, and I honestly believed that Berkley would be healthy. God had another plan though. She was born at 36 weeks and airlifted to Dallas when she wasn’t even a day old because of a heart problem they could not identify yet. She went into distress during labor and was not breathing when she was born. The doctors knew this would be a possibility, so the NICU was waiting in the room while I delivered. This is the only reason she survived birth, because they were there to intubate her. But because of the lack of oxygen during birth she suffered brain damage as well. She already had so much against her. Colby flew with her, his mom and my dad drove down there, and my mom and I followed when I was discharged. Our parents were with us for the first couple of weeks. Their jobs were not important at this point. It was eventually established that she had two types of holes in her heart, a PDA and an ASD. Then two weeks later it was discovered she had an extremely rare disorder, Pallister Killian Syndrome. Her syndrome is so rare, Berkley was the first case in that hospital, and the only information they had was printed from the internet. We were told she would probably never walk or talk, possibly never breathe on her own, and that she would have a hard time waking up from surgeries, which she would need quite a few of. We were asked to take the weekend and decide if we wanted to proceed with treatment or “make her comfortable.” Nobody can understand what it is like to have to make that decision. To actually have to consider letting your child die, because maybe that would be better than her suffering. I was so torn, because I have worked in the field of special needs, and I have seen the worst of the worst. Nobody wants their child to go through anything like that. While we were struggling, Colby said to me “we have to give her a chance”, and thats all it took. We told the doctors that we wanted to proceed with making our baby as healthy as possible, and the surgery was scheduled to try to close her PDA. I think had I made that choice to make Berkley comfortable I would have gone into a deep depression and I don’t know if my marriage would have lasted. During our five month hospital stay, Berkley had five surgeries, and did not have any issues waking up from anesthesia. Her PDA was closed, and her ASD has basically closed on its own. She eats through a g-button, but in the grand scheme of things, there is worse. She has to have a trach to help her breath, because she was not breathing deep enough, but we are already off of the vent for 10 hours a day, and in two weeks she will be off of the vent for 12 hours a day. She is surprising ALL of her doctors. Her pulmonologist is confident she will be able to come off of the vent in the future (within a year), but he is not sure if she will be able to take out her trach, due to her syndrome. Colby and I are confident she will be able to, though. She receives PT, OT, and ST. She is delayed, but she is trying. We love her just as much as anyone loves their healthy babies, and are not angry anymore. We are not bitter. We are not envious of healthy babies. We love Berkley just the way she is and are so proud of her. If she never walks, so what? Never talks, who cares? As long as she is happy and knows that she is loved, that will be enough.”