In December 2019, a sweet angel on Earth named Sammi Haney appeared on my TV screen educating the viewers about her condition and inviting everyone to support Teletón USA — a non-profit organization that raises funds to build and support the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute (CRIT).
The CRIT, located in San Antonio, Texas, is a state-of-the-art pediatric facility that offers services to children with neurological and musculoskeletal disabilities and their families. Having over 19 years of experience, the CRIT treats children regardless of a family’s ability to pay and always provides the best care possible to all of their patients.
Haney was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as Brittle Bone Disease — a genetic disorder that prevents the body from building strong bones and makes them break easily. Despite the fact that her condition is very rare (fewer than 20,000 US cases per year) and can’t be cured, Sammi Haney knows she is one-of-a-kind — and not necessarily for her medical diagnosis but because of the way she is impacting people’s lives with her positive attitude.
I’ve been interacting with her on social media for a couple of months now, and I noticed that I’ve been constantly smiling with each of her replies. I realized that a daily dose of Sammi Haney keeps me centered and down to earth. I want others to be aware that with so many people competing on Instagram to show who has a better lifestyle, a better job, a better body, little miss sunshine Sammi Haney already won by showing us a beautiful heart.
Haney inspired me to write her the following letter, and with my words, I aspire to inspire you too.
Dear Sammi Haney,
Even though you were born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, to me you are perfecta.
When I saw and learned about your story during the 2019 Teletón USA show aired on Univision, I immediately knew I wanted to become a madrina (a monthly contributor toward a child’s annual therapy plan). You touched every single fiber of my heart, and even though you are only 8 years old you inspire me every single day.
You motivate me to be a better person, to be thankful, patient, selfless, empathetic, and like you recently said in an Instagram post, to “always take it one day at a time because that is all you should try to do.” When you break a bone, my heart also breaks; every milestone you celebrate, I celebrate; every time you laugh, you make me laugh; every time you sing, you give me joy; every drawing you share on social media, I see it as a masterpiece.
Your big beautiful and dreamy eyes, your sassy personality, and your contagious smile is enough fuel to make anyone feel better. Your witticism, courage, and politeness are admirable. Your determination and unique positive way of thinking about life and its challenges are simply awesome.
Thank you, Sammi for transforming impossible into I’m possible. For constantly reminding us that what makes us different makes us beautiful, and for demonstrating that despite the use of the restrictive label of disabled, you are able.
I wouldn’t dare to finish this public letter without thanking your brother and your sister for always taking good care of you, and your mommy and daddy for always keeping us all updated when it comes to your health and your new career as an actress. Thank you very much to all the dedicated medical staff for their love and for empowering every patient to live their lives to their fullest potential.
Despite the distance, or the fact we haven’t met in person yet, you have a piece of my heart and I truly wish upon your life nothing but the best.