‘Nothing can stop me’: 7-year-old with rare birth defect receives national honor

Haumea Friel is Hawaii’s first ever National Children’s Miracle Network champion.
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 10:54 AM HST|Updated: Apr. 15, 2022 at 10:56 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu keiki who has overcome a lifetime of hardships received a special honor for her positive attitude and resilience.

Seven-year-old Haumea Friel became Hawaii’s first ever National Children’s Miracle Network champion.

Haumea was born with a rare birth defect that causes one leg to be shorter than the other. Through her life she has undergone 10 surgeries, including one that lasted 16 hours.

Now, Haumea is learning to use a prosthetic leg through physical therapy at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.

“Sparkle is my prosthetic leg that can help me walk and run and bounce. Nothing can stop me,” Haumea said.

Despite all she’s been through, Haumea has maintained a positive attitude throughout.

“Having to do with your foot now in a new position, facing the other way — she just overcame that,” said Stacie Keliinoi, a physical therapist at Kapiolani Medical Center.

“She showed up twice a week to do hard new things, every time with a great attitude. Walking on the treadmill for 2 minutes saying, ‘Auntie Stacie, I want to learn how to run.’”

Haumea’s message to other keiki going through challenging times? Never give up.

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