Sunday, January 14, 2018

Case Study #47 - Savanna Punching the Bag

"Savanna Punching the Bag". 2018 Oil on Canvas. 30" x 24"
Savanna Pageau was diagnosed with NF at an early age of two. She is the only one in her family who has NF. When she was 11, she developed an infection in her toe. After months of pain and the doctors being puzzled, she had to have her leg amputated above her right knee. The amputation was due to gangrene and was said to be a complication from NF. Over the years she had to have revisions of her leg and other surgeries to have neurofibromas removed. She had to grow up faster than most of the kids her age. Despite being bullied, she didn't allow the bullies to deflate her spirit. Savanna, didn't allow her having one leg to stop her. She was on her swimming and diving high school team, she did open water swims, she rock climbed, she sky-dived. Recently, she started her journey to have an rod implant surgically inserted into her femur, this will allow her to wear a leg without any pain from her neurofibromas. This opportunity will allow her to have her dream come true. She has been using crutches for over 20 years and has wanted to walk more than anything. Savanna's mother, Janie has been involved with NF awareness and has done multiple fundraising events on her own to raise money and awareness. She is always by her daughters side and has never allowed Savanna to give up.

Savanna, has been involved with the NF Hope Concert, which is based out of Las Vegas. Besides helping the organizers with the event, she has spoken at the concert a few times, sharing her story living with NF. Last November, Savanna went to Nashville to shoot the new NF Network video with others who have NF. She wants to be more than "the girl with tumors", "the girl with one leg", "the girl on crutches". Savanna wants to make an impression. She wants to make a difference to those who live with NF and feel alone. Savanna is a NF warrior, she has overcome many challenges, being pointed and stared at and having moments of "why me". But, she wouldn't change anything. Living with NF made her into the person that she is, she is a fighter and she is understanding. Savanna has also met the most incredible people, because of NF: a family.