As originally reported by WCSH6 Portland, Kate Woodside has become an internet inspiration to other kids affected by Alagille Syndrome.
It’s common these days to hear complaints about kids spending too much time on computers. Kate, however, recognized technology as an opportunity to inspire others. With a simple iPad video recording she took a stand against her rare disease, and fro all the other kids who feel isolated by it.
Alagille Syndrome affects just under 8000 people in the world. In Maine, where Kate and her family live, Kate may be the only person in the state with such a diagnosis. They’ve never met anyone else with Alagille. Kate understands both the difficulty and loneliness of her condition. She often feels like the only person with her symptoms. No one she knows can understand how she feels taking handfuls of pills a day, or constantly feeling itchy.
That understanding must have extended to sympathy. Kate must have known there were other girls and boys in the world like her, others that only she could understand. The video message Kate recorded is short, and honest, and authentic. It’s the sort of rallying cry that only a child could give, and resonates with the inner child of us all.
“Hi. My name’s Kate and I have Alagille. This is for the other Alagille kids… I know that we have itches and we have to take pills. It’s hard, right? But we can handle it! We’re old enough to handle it! Even if you’re three or two or one – or five and a half like I am! We have – we can take over the world. We can make the world a better place! Even if we have Alagille, it doesn’t matter…”
Kate’s mom says she still cries every time she sees Kate’s video. Immediately understanding its importance, its message, and purpose, she asked if Kate wanted to post the video online. Kate had hoped to do so all along, and the family posted it to their Kate’s Krew support page on Rare Disease Day (February 28th). Many people have responded to and viewed the video. A young girl from Nevada even responded with a video of her own after being inspired by Kate. Kate is proud of the way her video was able to reach other children. It’s amazing to see a child understand the value of community, and want to help other feel connected.