The Chasing Zebras Fund was created as a way to help the family of Addison & Audrina Dick. They are sisters from Toledo, Ohio who are still undiagnosed despite almost 2.5 years of fervent testing, traveling around the midwest and praying for answers. Doctors suspect the girls have some form of a devastating illness called Mitochondrial Disease. Addison is 28 months old and is a beautiful tough little girl who has been through much more in her lifetime than any toddler should. She's endured dozens of hospitalizations, including more than 40 days spent in hospitals in her first year of life. She was born November 10, 2010 at just 4 lbs 11 oz. She appeared relatively healthy and went home after just one week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It was only a few days at home before she began having problems. By two weeks old she was no longer stooling on her own, by 4 weeks she had begun vomiting daily. She needed invasive bowel management to empty. She battled a serious bowel infection for months which left her with diarrhea and vomiting multiple times a day. Her first hospitalization was at 2 months old where she was admitted for Failure To Thrive and the search for the 'Zebra' began. She was there 12 long days and it was apparent to everyone that something was wrong, but what? The tests, procedures, surgeries and ongoing battles continued on and on throughout Addison's first year. All along, we were so thankful and blessed that developmentally she was doing great despite the frequent illnesses. She ate and ate and ate and the only thing she grew was sicker every day. In September 2011, Addison went under anesthesia for a routine simple procedure and in the days that followed, she became lethargic and confused. She lost many milestones and we knew quickly something was terribly wrong.. Addison developed Atypical Autism as a direct result of the neurological regression she had. The anesthesia itself did not harm her but it was the final straw on her already stressed system. That was over a year ago and our sweet girl is still making forward steps everyday. She is just amazing and everyone who knows her can't help but smile around her. She loves to make people laugh and is especially fond of her baby sister Audrina. During one of Addison's trips to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Kim's water broke the morning she turned 30 weeks pregnant. They were admitted and Audrina was born 6 days later when her foot prolapsed out of the womb - which meant a traumatic emergency c-section weighing just 3 lbs 6 oz. She flew through a 28 day NICU stay where they used words like 'rockstar' and 'incredible' to describe how healthy she was, despite her untimely entrance into the world. One of the best days of 2012 was the day they got to go home with her. That quickly changed as she began turning blue after just 8 days at home. She was no longer able to breathe on her own without oxygen and had been oxygen deprived for those 8 days. She stopped stooling and began vomiting soon after and the family began to fear they were looking at a repeat of Addison's heartbreaking journey. Audrina is now 7 months and has become progressively sicker....much sicker than Addison was. She is on and off of oxygen at night and has needed to wear an apnea monitor and pulse oximeter everyday so we can keep a careful eye on her respiratory distress. Audrina declined neurologically as well, eventually losing the ability to effectively coordinate sucking and breathing simultaneously and therefore needing a feeding tube placed. Part of their condition has to do with food, or something in food that they have not identified - they eat nothing but a 100% elemental diet. No food - possibly forever. This is very difficult for a two year old who remembers eating! Both girls also have severe dysautonomia, meaning they cannot regulate their nervous system well. Addison has a joint problem that causes temporary partial paralysis, swelling, and pain in her hands and feet. Both girls have such poor motility that they frequently go up to 2 weeks without bowel movements. Their bowels frequently shut down and they get very ill. Its been nearly two years since Addison got sick, and we know a lot more than we did back then, but we still don't have a straight answer, and therefore, any plan for treatment. We just want what every parents wants, their kids to have the best possible chance in life.... which requires a lot of time, money and energy spent to keep up with the girls unique set of needs. As you can imagine, our family has been through unbelievable stress and financial strain for the past 2 years. We've even had to move out of our home in Michigan and move to Ohio to get the care the girls needed and have access to hospitals like Cleveland Clinic and Cincinnati Children's. Our friends and family started the Chasing Zebras Fund in 2012 to help us get access to the best care and help our family get through some rough times. All donations made go to paying for therapy, copays, medical and adaptive equipment, and more... sometimes groceries and keeping a roof over our heads! God has blessed us with a wonderful community of friends, family, and online supporters that have shown us so much kindness over the past couple of years. God has an incredible plan for our family and I hope you stop by the blog and read about the amazing things he is doing through our lives - you can read about it at answersforaddison.blogspot.com. We are also now on facebook at Chasing Zebras: Answers for Addison and Audrina. We thank you for taking the time to read this and God bless!