KNOWN IN REAL LIFE AS:
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER, DYSLEXIA & FOOD ALLERGY
Meet Glitter Girl at the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay
on September 29.
View a course map.
Meet Glitter Girl
Jane Sanford, Age 11, from West Akron, Ohio
Why Jane is an #ACHero: Jane has been a constant supporter of her little brother, Jude, since the beginning of his medical journey. While accompanying Jude to doctor visits and therapy sessions, she also worked hard to overcome her own challenges, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and a food allergy. Today, she’s still Jude’s biggest fan and is thriving at school, earning high marks for her academics and behavior.
Sidekicks: Her little brother, Jude, her BFF, Supriya, and her cheer squad.
Super power: Superior Protector. Jane is exceedingly protective of Jude and his No. 1 cheerleader.
When she’s not busy overcoming obstacles: Jane is a cheerleader for the St. Vincent De Paul Parish 5th grade squad and runs for the school’s cross country team. She also loves music, creating all types of art, especially with glitter, and scouring local thrift shops for vintage finds.
Did you know fact: Jane and her brother, Jude, have the same birthmark in the same spot on their bodies!
Jane’s story: Jane and Jude Sanford are like two peas in a pod. They’re biological siblings, adopted by the same loving family, and know the inside walls of Akron Children’s Hospital like their own home.
“Jane has been by her brother’s side since the beginning,” said Sarah Sanford, Jane’s mom. “She knows his medical history, doctors, medications and nightly routines. She asks questions when he can’t and hugs him when she knows he needs one…It came as a surprise when Jane became a patient because she’s always been my healthy one.”
Jane was welcomed home by her parents when she was about 3 weeks old. She was a happy, healthy baby and toddler and adjusted beautifully to daycare and pre-kindergarten. But after discussions at a kindergarten parent-teacher conference, her parents left the school with a recommendation to talk with her pediatrician about distractibility and lacking impulse control.
“At first we assumed her attention seeking was simply because I was always away with Jude at appointments and therapies,” said Sarah. “But when it happened more regularly, we realized that even though we were working with her at home, she needed more help.”
Since there is no single test to diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), her pediatrician looked for a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interfered with her functioning or development. Together, based on her parents’ and teachers’ observations and the pediatrician’s expertise, Jane was diagnosed with ADHD.
The following school year, Jane was doing well developmentally, socially and emotionally, but a teacher suspected she may be struggling with dyslexia, a learning disability with reading accurately and fluently, too. Jane came to Akron Children’s speech and language therapy department for an evaluation. The results revealed that Jane was of unusually high intelligence and had dyslexia.
In support, Jane began a 2-year dyslexia-specific tutoring program, as well as occupational therapy at Akron Children’s to help her learn how to decode words and recognize individual sounds in words. After a lot of hard work, Jane graduated as a fluent reader and is now soaring high as a straight-A student at school.
This past summer, though, Jane had another reason to come to Akron Children’s. After eating a peanut, her lips and mouth quickly began to tingle and look puffy. Her mom called Dr. Rajeev Kishore’s office for care advice and a next-day appointment for allergy testing. As suspected, Jane tested positive for allergies to all types of nuts and left with an EpiPen® and a whole new approach to monitoring food in her diet.
Today, Jane routinely checks in with her allergist to monitor her case, and her mom helps her avoid triggers by reading food labels.
“Jane and Jude never cease to amaze me…they are growing, changing, succeeding and facing new challenges each day,” said Sarah. “Through it all, they show bravery, patience and kindness but, most importantly, they show love.”