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Despite illness, 8-year-old remains spunky, fun self

Posted at 2:56 AM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-28 08:16:42-05

On Giving Tuesday you have so many options to help the community, one Baltimore non-profit goes above and beyond to help sick children.

Casey Cares arranges programs and trips for critically ill children and their families in seven states, including Maryland, and Washington D.C.

One of the children they've helped, 8-year-old Damari, who's fought through two life threatening situations.

The way Damari talks, "Action!... I haven't answered this in a while, so my favorite thing to do is to go places with my family," you wouldn't guess she has a severe illness.

It's called Sepsis, "Sepsis which is an infection in your blood and you're very sick, as was Damari in October," Adopted Mother Anne Powell said.

"So my body's been kinda getting weird lately, but it's not my problem to worry about it, it's my body's problem," Damari doesn't let anything get to her.

The first time she was seriously hospitalized was when she was 9-months-old, right after Powell became her foster mom.

"I can pick her up now right and hold her? She hadn't been held for two weeks, they said yeah, you can, and I could hear she was having trouble breathing, and they had to call the respiratory team and reintubate her, and that didn't work, they needed a smaller tube, and where it is all in a day's work for them, for me to watch that was um traumatic," Powell said.

Since then it's been countless hospital visits, "when I go in I usually get labs, which is shots pass pss, which that's how I get bruised a lot," Damari said.

Damari shields everyone from her pain, instead sharing smiles and laughter, "because I'm a tough girl and I'm strong," she said flexing her muscles.

All you can see of her struggle is a small tube that sticks out the bottom of her shirt. Her strong will and generous love infects everyone around her.

Anne Powell's always thought of Damari as her daughter, and it became official two years ago.

"She hugs me a lot and kisses me a lot," Damari said.

"She is awesome and spirited and fun and funny almost all the time," Powell said.

With the help of Casey Cares the whole family's been able to enjoy trips and fun events, putting happy memories front and center, making the tough ones fade away.

"If you had asked me years ago, would I have been able to handle this, I would've said of course not... Whatever is dished out, you take and you so the best you can with it," Powell said.

Powell has five children, as well as two adopted children. She learned about Casey Cares while at the hospital with Damari. She said she is incredibly thankful for what they do.

If you'd like to donate, click here.