News-Sports.net - Aug 31,2010 - Phantom Gymnastics in Hampstead, N.H., wants to pass along a Bella Tucker update to the gymnastics community. This is a follow-up to the magazine and website articles that ran earlier this year about Bella Tucker, a young gymnast who came down with a near fatal infection on Easter and underwent quadruple amputation surgery. Below is the update prepared by Cathie Lowell of Phantom Gymnastics, Bella’s gym.
We are happy to report that Bella's spirits are high despite a few setbacks and additional operations during the last month. She has been in both the Children's Hospital and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. She has begun some physical therapy to strengthen her core, getting her ready for the Shriner's hospital in Philadelphia where the real work will begin. Bella will receive prosthetics and she and her family remain hopeful and encouraged. Bella celebrated her ninth birthday on Aug 12. She continues to have lots of visitors and has learned to use her electric wheel chair, which she operates with her elbow, to get around the hospital and garden. She spends time playing games and visiting with friends. She’s also become proficient with her iPad, which allows her to use Facebook to view and respond to posts!
Thank you to USA Gymnastics and the gymnastics community, who have helped create awareness for Bella's cause and raise thousands of dollars for the family. USA Gymnastics provided a booth at the Visa Championships Fan Fest, where the Phantom Gymnastics Team did an exhibition in conjunction with a fund raising campaign. Many gymnastics clubs visited the booth and took the 10.0 campaign back to their gyms to help out.
Cards, well wishes, teddy bears and more have been sent from gymnasts from all over the world. Many little girls have sent their own allowance money as a donation. Gymnasts have set up lemonade stands, made t-shirts to sell, and have come up with some very creative ways to help raise money for Bella. Local gyms in New Hampshire have done some amazing work with a chin-up-a-thon from NEGTC raising more than $14,000, Gym Village with another $10,000 and Elite Cheer in Massachusetts another $10,000. Eight other local gyms also raised money to help with Bella’s medical expenses. The New Hampshire gymnastics association also played a critical role with funds and awareness and is planning a meet where all of the donations will go to the BellaTucker Fund. Gymnastics’ vendors have also made donations, including $1,000 from Snowflake Leotards.Everyone’s generosity and thoughtfulness are what have helped Bella get through this very tough time. It keeps her smiling and feeling special and that makes all of the difference! It really has been inspiring to see how much strength exists in the gymnastics community to make such a big difference in the life of a fellow gymnast. Thank you all for your kindness and support! For more information, please visit www.Bellatucker.org.