You just never know what kinds of personal struggles people are dealing with. Shout-out to anyone who is willing to share their trials and tribulations in hopes it helps people get out of bed in the morning, take those first steps and in Holly's case, run!

Local Yakima resident Holly Cousens was born with Club Feet. Something that happens to 1 in 1,000 children. Back in the '80s, the normal protocol, especially in the South, where Holly was born was to cut the feet off and use prosthetics but her parents weren't having that.

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"My Mom and Dad made it their mission to find me Doctors that could help me walk and that's exactly what's been going on ever since." Many Doctors and even more surgeries, reaching 25 in total through the years is what it's been looking like. First, she was told she would never walk. She walks, with pain, but she walks. She was told by her 20's or 30's she would lose her feet. She is now 40 and still has both of her feet, full of scars and pins, but they are there! Her last surgery involved a metal plate, 36 screws, and some serious news.

Her Doctors told her this was pretty much it, after putting as many pins in her feet as they could she was told that there wasn't anything else that could be done. Holly deals with pain, every time she walks. If she is on her feet, it needs to be only for a few hours before she takes a break or she's truly going to be hurting.

Growing up she never got to jump on trampolines with her friends and has never been able to enjoy the feeling of walking on sandy beaches with bare feet. It's with shoes or no go, that uneven softness is horrible for what she's got going on. She has never even experienced jumping or running.

She continued to search for a way to be pain-free and shockingly, found it in Gig Harbour, Washington. The only place in the entire World with a Doctor who invented the ExoStem. A brace that takes all the pressure off your feet, knees, and hips when you walk. Dr. Ryan has helped injured veterans return to active duty. Allowed athletes to compete again and in the past three years, with acceptance to the program, civilians walk without pain!

Holly applied to the program and has been accepted. This January 2022 she will receive her custom ExoStem braces and get the chance to run for the very first time in her life! Each brace is built specifically to fit the individual and they aren't cheap. Holly needs two, they cost $10,000 per brace and so far has been able to raise $12,000 towards her goal of $20,000.

One of the coolest parts about her journey is after being shy about letting people know her struggle. She is willing to share her story and hopes to not only raise enough for her braces but enough for others as well. I mean 1 in 1,000 means there are a lot of people out there suffering. Ask her anything, she says she's an open book when it comes to this process so if you are able to give a bit of money or share her story, it would be greatly appreciated!

One of Dr. Ryan's Patience

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