By Teuta Shabani Towler on November 13, 2012Marley Wiseman was born with a very rare bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, also called brittle-bone syndrome. It’s a congenital condition characterized by fragile bones that break easily.
She was evaluated at the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk when she was born, but the only treatment available for her was in Montreal, Canada.
Her father, Mark Wiseman, contacted the Shriners, and the First Flight Middle School student was treated at Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal, Canada for the first time Nov. 1, 1999.
“We’re in debt to the Shriner’s organization for all the help. She’s been a Shriner’s kid since she was 11 months old,” her father said. “The only treatment available was in Montreal and that was in experimental stages, but it was known to work.”
He calls Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Montreal, “The best little hospital in the world.” When they go to Shriners, Marley gets the best care from Dr. Fassier who is recognized internationally as one of the best surgeons for brittle bone. “She loves him so much she calls him Doctor Fuzzy Bear.”
Marley and her father used to go to Montreal every three months for three-day treatments. She had metal rods inserted in her legs. “She also had a spinal fusion surgery and we there for two months,” Wiseman said.
She has a twin sister, Sydney, who is healthy but they’ve been separated every three months because of the treatments.
Marley was chosen out of over 600 children to be honored as the Shrine Bowl Queen 2012. She will represent the Shriners during the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas High School game, Dec. 15, at Gibbs Stadium at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
“Marley already understands the importance of the community and she’s committed to help others,” said FFMS principal John Donlan during the crowning ceremony.
Students, teachers and parents attended the event. Judge Jerry Tillet with the Shriners presented Marley with a crown, queen rope and a football helmet.
“I feel honored,” Marley said. “I never had anything like this happen to me before and I want to pay them back. I really want to help them.”
Marley will have a busy schedule. She’ll be in the Shriner’s parade in South Carolina. She’ll do a halftime performance at the Carolina Panther’s Game. She will accept a check from the Panthers Association for the Shriners.