Teen breaks down barriers related to birth defect - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Teen breaks down barriers related to birth defect

Funky rhythms - and nerves of steel: Bailey Stidham in a nutshell. (Source: WAFF) Funky rhythms - and nerves of steel: Bailey Stidham in a nutshell. (Source: WAFF)

Bailey Stidham. 16, has a rare genetic disorder, characterized by the absence of the radius bone in the forearm, as well as reduced platelets, according to her mom, Lisa Stidham. 

"She bleeds quicker," Lisa explains. "You know, she could bleed out."

That meant new responsibilities - and frequent trips to medical professionals.

Kindergarten brought challenges and bullies, according to Lisa. "A lot of name calling, a lot of pushing down, and so in her early years I was a little nervous," Lisa recalled. 

Bailey has her own perspective. "The people that knew me, it wasn't a problem, but when new people would come in, they wouldn't understand what was going on. That's when it would be a challenge," she said.

Lisa says despite her worries and concerns, her daughter's self-determination began to blossom, leading to sports. 

"We signed her up and she's played. She played 2nd base. She's played all kinds of different places," Lisa said.

She's cheered, been a swimmer and so much more. She wants to major in sports sciences and be a coach. Her mom tears up when she talks about her pride in her daughter. 

"When I say she's amazing, it's not just from a mother's standpoint. When it came to driving, we thought we were going to have to take her vehicle and have her extended steering wheel put on it. She just got in there and done her thing," Lisa beamed.

Recent bullying on Twitter let Lisa know her daughter's inner strength. 

"Bailey's a strong person, and she told them she didn't get her self-worth from what they said or what they thought. And even at the end of it she said, 'Jesus loves you and even though I don't know who you are, I love you too.' And you know, as a mother, it's not that easy for me."

There have been challenges, but she knows her daughter can be a role model. "She's an example to them that you can overcome things."

And Bailey has her own perspective about her medical condition and other people. 

"There's good people out there and there's also mean people out there," Bailey said. "And it's taught me how to deal with people like that. I have to put in an effort just like anybody else does, and the challenges make that harder - but you can control your attitude and your effort, and once you control those it shows in your game."

Not to mention it shows in other areas of your life.

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