INDIANAPOLIS — This month is Spina Bifida Awareness Month.
So, what is spina bifida? According to the CDC, it's a medical condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth.
Spina bifida might cause physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe. The severity depends on the size and location of the opening in the spine, and whether part of the spinal cord and nerves are affected.
On Tuesday, WRTV met with two-year-old Lainey, and her mother, Mandy, at Riley Hospital for Children.
When Mandy was pregnant with Lainey, she was ecstatic that her family would be welcoming a girl after having three boys.
But that joy turned to fear when her 20-week ultrasound appointment revealed the diagnosis of spina bifida.
Mandy and her husband were referred to Riley Children's Health where a team of urologists, neurosurgeons, and orthopedic team members helped prepare Mandy for Lainey's arrival.
Immediately after birth, Lainey was rushed into surgery where her care team closed up her exposed spinal cord.
At six weeks old, Lainey had already survived three brain surgeries to remove excess fluid from her brain.
Now, Lainey, two, is starting to walk with orthopedic braces, which is helping her keep up with her big brothers.
Mandy said her daughter is smiley and lovable, but she is now ready to take on the world thanks in part to the help Riley Hospital for Children has given Lainey and the entire family.