Pint-Size Dancer Inspires Despite Genetic Disorder

A toddler is proving that anyone can dance, even those who have a medical excuse not to.

Brielle Crawford has grown to love dancing even though doctors initially feared a mistake might lead her to permanently harm herself.

Brielle was born with two rare disorders that threatened her ability to move. Part of her lower face is paralyzed because of the congenital disorder, hemifacial microsomia. In addition, a bone disorder called Klippel-Feil syndrome resulted in two spinal bones in her neck being fused. The disorders have led to some paralysis on her right side, a missing rib and her ear not being fully developed, according to her mother, Jaylene Crawford.

Doctors feared what might happen if Brielle fell.

"[A doctor] was concerned about stability. He wouldn't let us do anything with her," Crawford told ABC News. "I was basically helicopter mom."

The doctor even told Crawford that a severe fall could mean paralysis, according to ABC News affiliate KEZI-TV in Eugene, Oregon.

However, after further monitoring, Brielle finally was given the all-clear to dance.


Now, the 3-year-old takes ballet and tap classes at a studio in Portland, Oregon, and told KEZI-TV that she "loves it." Crawford said doctors still have to monitor Brielle and she likely will need surgery for scoliosis that will result in limited spine movement.

"She might not be on Broadway, but she'll be able to dance in some capacity," said Crawford. "She knows how to boogie with the best with them.

The dance teachers at the studio have also been inspired by the pint-size dancer's courage and have organized a benefit at a local theater for Brielle's medical expenses, including future surgeries.

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