Despite multiple tumors, epilepsy and kidney disease, little Chloe Bredeson continues to show the world how tough she really is.
The 9-year-old Bluffton girl has a life-threatening genetic disease. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) causes non-cancerous tumors in vital organs, particularly the heart, brain, skin, lungs, kidneys and eyes.
TSC is the leading genetic cause of epilepsy and autism. About one million people suffer from the disease worldwide.
But Chloe doesn't let any of that get her down, pushing through every challenge that comes her way. She fights back tears as doctors, nurses and lab technicians poke and prod. She takes her medicine three times a day, and if she wants to achieve something, she works at it until it happens.
She does it all with a huge smile and inspires people in the process, so brave that she's earned the nickname "Super Chloe," marching into doctors' appointments wearing a pink and purple superhero cape.
Chloe has tumors in her brain, skin and one eye. She also has polycystic kidney disease and will eventually require a kidney transplant.
Overall, though, Chloe is doing great. A smart, happy child, she loves swimming, dancing and playing with her big brother, Elijah.
Unfortunately, some people are much more affected by TSC. Some will never walk or talk. Some have hundreds of seizures a day and have undergone countless brain, kidney or heart surgeries. Others don't even survive.
Since Chloe's 2010 diagnosis, she and her family have done whatever they can to raise awareness and raise money for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, a national nonprofit organization working to find a cure.
Step Forward to Cure TSC is a national walkathon hosted in more than 30 cities across the country to raise awareness, money and hope on behalf of everyone living with TSC.
For the second year in a row, Chloe and her family will host the walk on Hilton Head Island, and they ask the community to join them.
Step Forward to Cure TSC is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 26 at Jarvis Creek Park, with registration at 9 a.m. Participants can also register online in advance by going to www.stepforwardtocuretsc.org, then clicking on "Find a Walk" and going to the South Carolina event.
After the walk, there will be refreshments, kids' activities and entertainment by Cappy the Clown and Crush Entertainment with DJ Crush. South Carolina Sen. Tom Davis is expected to speak.
The theme for the event is superheroes, and walkers are encouraged to dress like their favorite heroes, whether they be firefighters, police officers, doctors or Superman.
There is no fee to walk; however, donations are appreciated. Participants who donate $100 will receive a free Step Forward to Cure TSC T-shirt.
For more information, contact Amy Coyne Bredeson at 843-290-2741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.