First Grader Born Without Thumbs Inspiring Change

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STURGIS, MI- The principal at Congress Elementary School sprung into action when she heard one of her first grade students was being bullied.  Lily Strang has a rare genetic disease called Fanconi anemia.  She was born without thumbs and is smaller than the other students her age.

Friday morning, school Principal Mrs. Teresa Belote read a book to the entire school that she and Lily wrote together.   ‘A Book About Me (and Fanconi Anemia)’ is aimed at teaching the other students about Lily’s differences along with a lesson in acceptance.

Not a peep could be heard as the students listened to the story, taking in the message.  Lily hopes it will answer their questions and stop the bullying.

Lily’s family is hosting two fundraisers raising money for the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund.  In April, 1,000 Cranes for Lily begins.  On May 2nd, Applebee’s in Sturgis is donating 10 percent of your bill to the cause and the wait staff will be donating tips.

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8 comments

  • Lori Miller

    We want to thank fox 17 news for featuring this story of my niece Lily. You’re not only raising awareness of bullying, even with our young kids, but you’re also raising awareness of this horrible genetic disease, Fanconi anemia, that we so desperately need a cure for. Please everyone join us in finding a cure. Thanks.

  • Jim Furr

    Many thanks to all involved in helping my Great Little Niece Lily find a positive and effective way to educate those around her about this terrible disease, and its impact on her. I hope everyone will share this clip and pass the word. And, I thought I heard some Holland Cranes chatting this morning about their upcoming trip to Sturgis to see Lily…..

  • L A Graham

    Why would you not post the video footage for this story here rather than movie trailers and other adverts!!! Makes NO SENSE.

  • Barb Proehl

    Lily, I am so proud of you!! I am so sorry kids are bullying you but I know you did a good job to set them straight. Hope to see you this summer when I come for a visit to grandmas. Love, Aunt Barbie

  • Yasmine

    Think that was a fabulous write-up. I like a person who truly take some time to create decent stuff – it is all a learning curve at the end of the day. Really well planned out and put together. Thank you.