Chiari and Charity: Young Girl Gives Back to Other Sick Kids

October 22, 2015

Carley Lyons is one of the happiest little girls you’ll ever meet. Like any five year old, she loves to play video games, ride her bike and attend sporting events.

Carley always seems to have a smile on her face despite what she has gone through in life already. Carley suffers from Chiari Malformation, Siringomielia and Epilepsy.

“The cerebellum, the back of your brain herniates downward into your spinal canal. They removed the back of her skull, they removed part of her top two vertebrae and they opened up the outer layer of her brain tissue to give her brain room to swell,” Lisa Lyons, Carley’s mother explained.

And Carley isn’t the only one in her family with Chiari Malformation. Her father and two little brothers have it too. One of her brothers has already had decompression surgery and the other, will have surgery next month. Thankfully, Carley’s last major surgery was back in July 2013. She’s had some minor surgeries since then but she is going on one year without a seizure.

But something keeps the Lyons family going. Despite all of the struggles and complications, Lisa and her husband Rob take time to instill valuable life lessons in their children.

“We’re really trying to instill in our kids the idea of giving back. Knowing that I’m raising a generation of children that are going to have that mentality it means that world because you don’t have people that are like that these days,” Lisa explained.

The Lyons family puts those words into action, starting with an art drive. The Lyons family collected art supplies and other activities for children at the hospital. They filled bins with these goodies and delivered them to other sick children.

“She’s always looking for something to do to give to others. And that’s what made us continue with this drive this year and it’s something that we’re going to do every single year. So no matter what we’re going through we’re always going to make time to give back,” Lisa said.

The Lyons family is planning on doing another art drive soon. For more information on how to get involved or donate supplies, contact Lisa at [email protected].

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