Published: Thursday, July 11, 2019
Jiry Rosecrans, of rural Edmore, N.D., needs to receive infusions in Fargo every two weeks to treat a rare brain tumor that was diagnosed several years ago.
That translates into more than five hours of road trip every two weeks for Jiry, about to turn 13, with mom Bridget driving and usually her two younger siblings, Jace, 3, and Janee, 1, along, too.
Since August 2017, NDAD has helped lessen the Rosecrans’ burden by providing medical travel assistance to reduce the family’s transportation costs. (Rosecrans also received travel assistance once involving an appointment for Jace, who is autistic.) That’s a huge help for Bridget, herself on disability for a traumatic brain injury and living on a fixed income. She was surprised to learn such help was available. Bridget says she’s shared that knowledge “with quite a few people,” and also information about NDAD’s free short-term durable medical equipment loan program, which Jiry has used.
Jiry, a Bottineau native, has faced multiple health and development challenges, including frequent head- and stomach aches, sporadic vision loss and stunted growth, during her young life, which began as the surviving twin in a two-month premature birth.
“At 9 years old, she still was wearing her 3-year-old clothes,” Bridget said. Following multiple inconclusive diagnoses, Jiry was found several years ago to have craniopharyngioma, a tumor resulting from aberrant growth of a part of the brain near the pituitary gland. Then, earlier this year, Jiry was diagnosed with chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), a rare autoinflammatory disease marked by inflammation, lesions and pain in the bones.
Jiry is dealing with varying ailments “all the time” and has needed to be rushed to area hospitals, says her mom. Still, the young girl takes much of her health troubles in stride and seemingly never for granted, attending Langdon Public Schools whenever she’s able.
“It is amazing, her spirit,” Bridget said. “She’s got an old soul. When you talk with her, you feel like, ‘Man, and you’re only 12?’”
Jiry said with a big, convincing smile, “I’m feeling better.”
Published July 2018.