Avanyah Antoinette White was born to her mom, Unique, on September 5, 2018, at Oishei Children’s Hospital, at 32 weeks-gestation, weighing only 3 pounds and 6 ounces. Doctors discovered that Avanyah’s lower extremities were not developing at 16 weeks’ gestation.

Genetics specialists at Oishei believe this was due to genetics, rather than a complication of pregnancy. At birth, Avanyah was diagnosed with tibial hypoplasia, a rare, genetic syndrome that causes limb deficits. Avanyah’s mom made the decision to have her legs amputated when she was just 10 months old. Unique had undergone the same procedure when she was Avanyah’s age.

Dr. Michael Ferrick of Oishei performed baby Avanyah’s amputation, which made it possible for her to walk with prosthetic limbs. Avanyah received her first pair of prosthetic limbs when she was two years-old and began walking very shortly thereafter. Now, two years later, Avanyah is in preschool and thriving!

Avanyah’s family affectionately calls her “Vonnie,” noting that she is kind, loving, and full of life. She loves playing on the playground with her friends, her favorite color is pink, and she loves to watch Paw Patrol. Avanyah’s absolute favorite thing to do is to have tea parties with her great grandmother Katrina, who was on the very first Variety Kids Telethon 61 years ago.

Oishei Children’s Hospital gave Avanyah, her mother Unique, and her great grandmother Katrina the opportunity to live better without having to use a wheelchair, and they are eternally thankful.

Meet Avanyah and her loving family at the 61st Annual Variety Kids Telethon on Saturday, March 4th, from 6 pm to 11 pm on WGRZ Channel 2, and on Sunday, March 5th from 10 am to 8 pm on WBBZ TV Channel 67.1 or Cable 5, and streaming online.