This is Zoe’s story (21 Photos)

Before Zoe Lush was even born, there were signs of big trouble. Zoe's mother, Chelsea, got the news at her three month ultrasound. When the perinatologist gently pressed the wand down on Chelsea's belly, Zoe's soft skull curiously molded from a circle to an oval shape under the pressure of the wand. A closer look revealed further damage. Zoe's femur was in two separate pieces and many of Zoe's ribs were in multiple stages of fracture. Zoe's bones were already breaking in the womb. The concerned doctor looked up at Chelsea, "Mrs. Lush, there's something very wrong with your child."

Months later Zoe entered into the world broken. She fractured her collarbone during the birth, and within Zoe's first 30 days of life she broke both of her ams and her leg, and then her right arm again. Zoe Lush was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, commonly known as Brittle Bone disorder.

When we hear about Brittle Bone, we often think of somebody who is slightly more prone to breaking a bone than the average person - that would be type I OI. Type I is the Brittle Bone most people are vaguely familiar with. People with Type I don't produce sufficient collagen to grow strong bones. However, most will grow to natural height with normal looking bones that are slightly more fragile than yours and mine.

But there are other, more menacing types of OI.

Zoe has Type III, the most severe type of OI you can possibly survive. OI is a form of dwarfism. Arms and legs are often deformed from both the irregular, under-mineralized bone structure as well as repeat fractures. Many children born with Type III fracture their ribs simply from taking a deep breath. Some infants will pass away from respiratory failure, especially early in life. If a child with Type III does survive those first, formidable months, they will never grow much past 3 feet tall, and will likely spend most of their lives in a wheelchair.

At 3 months, Zoe was breaking so often Chelsea had resorted to splinting Zoe herself because doctors were so unfamiliar with the condition. Often times doctors handle OI children like regular kids, causing even more breaks.

Zoe also has brittle teeth, eating anything but soft food can cause chipping. Zoe's ear bones are just as fragile as any other bone she has. Loud, piercing noises can shatter her eardrums.

Perhaps one of the most important facts about OI is that it does NOT cause mental delays. At a glance, many people see Zoe's physical deformities and conclude that she's also mentally handicapped. Zoe does have difficulty speaking, and often favors sign language instead. During one of Zoe's trips to theCHIVE offices, she accidentally pushed her juice glass to the floor exclaiming, "Oh… poo!"

Zoe has remarkable parents. Curtis Lush just received his degree as a surgical tech from CNI College. Until last week, Curtis would attend classes from 7am - 3pm, then rush to Hoag Hospital where he works as an Operating Room Assistant until Midnight.

Chelsea takes care of Zoe full-time but dreams of returning to school to complete her nursing degree. To assuage Zoe's massive medical bills, the family is living with Zoe's grandparents. Both Curtis and Chelsea are determined to create a better life for themselves and their new family. Chelsea recently found out she's pregnant with her second child.

How we can help:

To strengthen and reinforce her bones, Zoe will need rodding surgeries. Metal rods can be surgically inserted in the long bones to stabilize and strengthen them. Zoe's soft bones will be drilled in 3 sections where expandable, telescoping rods will be inserted. With these rodding surgeries, it's possible that Zoe's legs could support enough weight to walk someday. Zoe needs at least 6 bones rodded, and the surgeries aren't cheap.

Zoe's wheelchair is outdated, some parts are held together with duct tape. The analog chair severely limits Zoe's mobility and, in turn, her ability to discover the world around her. With kids, curiosity is the root of speech. If Zoe cannot wheel over to the object that intrigues her, she'll never learn its name. Zoe needs a tricked-out set of wheels, and we're going to get that for her along with a badly-needed wheelchair ramp at her home. The entire list of Zoe's needs here.

Spread the word:

Because there is so little information available on OI, many kids with Brittle Bone go undiagnosed. As a result, it's common for young children with OI to be taken from their homes by child services. Once that happens, the parents must prove their child has OI. The OI testing process can take months. Meanwhile, the children languish under the improper care of foster providers ignorant to the child's specialized needs, often causing more physical pain to compound the obvious mental anguish.

Let the healing begin:

Zoe is as aware of the world around her as you and I. She feels her bones shatter the same as you and I would, only more often. Throughout her childhood Zoe will travel to strange places and have metal rods wedged into her delicate frame. The collective pain Zoe will endure in her life will make any of our toils seem insignificant. But the space between the hurt is filled with smiles. As you'll see below, Zoe never stops smiling. Together, we can dramatically improve Zoe's quality of life. With the Chivers' help today, we can ease Zoe's pain.

This is the first official Chive Charities campaign. Years in the making, Chive Charities exists for Chivers to champion the orphaned causes of the world. It is the charity for the underdogs. Chive Charities will change the giving paradigm. All of the money raised will go directly to the individual in need. Chive Charities will not faulter under the yolk of excessive overhead or fritter our money away on lavish executive salaries. Leo and I will never take a paycheck from Chive Charites.

Zoe faces a lifetime of travel and medical costs, not to mention badly-needed living enhancement. I'm setting the goal at $100,000, our most ambitious goal yet. LOST Co-Creator Damon Lindelof, host of the video below, is starting with a whopping $5,000 donation and challenged theCHIVE to match it. Done! $10,000 is already on its way for Zoe. The rest is up to you, Chivers. Let's do this.

Click here to explore the new Chive Charities website and CLICK HERE to donate to Zoe.

Chive Charities Twitter Machine.
Chive Charities Facebook Page.

UPDATE #1: We've surpassed $20,000 in the first half hour!

UPDATE #2: $30,000

UPDATE #3: We just surged past $50,000!

UPDATE #4: $60,000. Zoe and her family, including grandparents, are here in theCHIVE offices today. They cannot believe what they are seeing. They've told me to thank theCHIVE Community from the bottom of their hearts.

UPDATE #5: $70,000

UPDATE #6: $95,000. The final push!

UPDATE #7: $100,000 in six hours!!! This is nothing short of amazing. This was an effort made by thousands of individuals contributing everything from $50 to the change in their couches. Each one of you should be so proud of yourself right now, you've changed a little girl's life forever.

The Zoe campaign is closed but theCHIVE Fund remains open, we'll fill you in further on that juggernaut tomorrow but feel free to kick the tires on this amazing new tool to help those in need. Continue donating RIGHT HERE.

For those of us who contribute to these campaigns, we aspire to make the world 10% happier. We are the 10%’ers. Welcome to Chive Charities. This was your idea, Chivers. It was born out of theCHIVE communities’ escalating aspirations to help more individuals in need, and to do so in a fashion nobody has ever seen. Donate RIGHT HERE.

Zoe and Chelsea are with us now in theCHIVE office. We’ll keep you posted on the totals as they come in. Check out the amazing video below. We’d especially like to thank LOST Co-Creator Damon Lindelof for orchestrating the interview, he’s a stand-up guy and a good friend.

Donate

UPDATE #1: We’ve surpassed $20,000 in the first half hour!

UPDATE #2: $30,000

UPDATE #3: We just surged past $50,000!

UPDATE #4: $60,000. Zoe and her family, including grandparents, are here in theCHIVE offices today. They cannot believe what they are seeing. They’ve told me to thank theCHIVE Community from the bottom of their hearts.

UPDATE #5: $70,000

UPDATE #6: $95,000. The final push!

UPDATE #7: $100,000 in six hours!!! This is nothing short of amazing. This was an effort made by thousands of individuals contributing everything from $50 to the change in their couches. Each one of you should be so proud of yourself right now, you’ve changed a little girl’s life forever.

The Zoe campaign is closed but theCHIVE Fund remains open, we’ll fill you in further on that juggernaut tomorrow but feel free to kick the tires on this amazing new tool to help those in need. Continue donating RIGHT HERE.

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  • Beth Bigtitties

    KCCO ZOE!!!!! The Chivers and Chivettes are on their way to help now!!!

    • Womb_Raider

      I think I'm gonna really like Chive Charities. Much love Chelsea, Zoe, and Curtis and may God bless you all this Holiday season. Hopefully we're able to ease the burden a little. Much respect to the Chivers/Chivettes pausing their day to contribute. KCCO!!!!

      • William

        dang it, there is something in my eye…

    • NcouthYouth

      Release the donation Kraken!

    • BombastikD

      Bahhh this puny 100k goal won't even know what hit it… Chivers don't mess around when it comes to helping ppl.

    • James

      As someone who also has OI Type III, I just wanted to say i'm so glad the Chive is raising awareness of this disease. I've been through much of what Zoe has, rodding surgeries, broken bones with the slightest movements. But it can be overcome, i'm 33 years old, married, with two beautiful (healthy) girls, I drive, work and do everything any one else would. I would be happy to share my experiences with the family. I have sent an e-mail to TheChive with my contact information. KCCO ZOE!

      • thom

        Just imagine her life in 30 years, and the difference being made. God Bless this odd and wonderful site.

  • Mikeg01sf

    Chive on little angel..lets show the power of the chive community and help out the family. God bless

    • Curious guy

      John,

      Seriously, I love the chive. I have bought multiple shirts and check the site everyday. But before I donate I want to ask one question and I hope u answer it truthfully. Do you and/or thechive make any money off these donations? I believe in good honest business and think u have a great idea with the site and the t-shirts but I really woul like to know the truth on this one. It's just a question that I think everybody deserves to know. If u aren't, god bless y'all cause ur doing some badass stuff. Thanks for any response.

      • CanadianMedic

        Check the page bro 100% goes to the cause. They said they will never take a pay cheque from that site!
        "All of the money raised will go directly to the individual in need. Chive Charities will not faulter under the yolk of excessive overhead or fritter our money away on lavish executive salaries. Leo and I will never take a paycheck from Chive Charites"

        • Not curious anymore

          Didn't see that, that's why I asked. Most companies are very shady these days. Especially companies like the NFL and Susan kolman, who give less than 10% of what is actually donated. I was just making sure my money was goin to this little girl before I donated. Thanks for clearing up medic. KCCO….also…donated!

    • JoeyV

      let's go for 200k!

  • Trav1121

    #16 Keep on rockin', lil one! KCCO!

    • jfdengus

      deal with it…

  • Undershooter30

    TIme to step on the Gas ladies and gents. Got to love the chive for what they do and allow us to do. KCCO Zoe

  • John

    Thanks for all the input you've given us over the last year, without it none of this would be possible. Zoe is in the office now and we're watching events unfold. I'll keep y'all posted

    KCCO,

    John

    #21

    • KCCO_k311y

      good stuff. KCCO Zoe!

    • CanadianChivette

      As a Mom, I gotta say this one hit close to my heart! Great way to kick off Chive Charities, guys! KCCO Zoe!!

    • Star

      Can I take a moment to thank you for all you do. We all love this website, but I love a lot of websites, this is the only one I can honestly say I'm proud to visit. Thank you.

    • Mikeg01sf

      Good job john.

    • Tony

      What a horrible day to leave my wallet at home. The chivers are probably going to blow by the total before I can get home. Ahhhhhhh. Im sure I can still donate if we go over. Yeah CHIVE!!!!

    • Wet_tosti

      A little girl that compensates her fragile body with such a strong spirit deserves all the help we can offer. Please give our regards and respect to her parents.

    • Fact Checker

      My son is due at the end of the month. I remember that first ultrasound. I held my breath through most of it. Dear god this must have been hard. It's great to hear that everyone is so positive and KCCO through it all.

    • Him

      Can you pass a message onto Zoe for me since you're there with her? Tell her I said "PEEK-A-BOO!"

      Ahhh kids love that shit.

    • Caleb

      My daughter is also two. We were blessed to have a healthy baby. We give thanks for it everyday. My thoughts are with this beautiful baby girl and her family. The road ahead is rough, but passable. KCCO baby girl. We're here to help.

    • anotherchiver

      Proud to be a chiver, kcco

    • Lucas_Schmidt

      This is amazing, Chive you make me cry today. Hope all go alright with Zoe and she becomes a future loyal Chivette, KCCO .

    • Jordan

      The link isn't working for me to donate. Is it closed already?!

  • http://zielinskiphotography.com Jim

    Amazing story. I'm glad the Chivers are going to help out!

  • thrannix

    Donated. KCCO Zoe! I can't imagine the pain she has to endure. She is a strong one!

  • Lexie

    She is incredibly cute. I can't imagine all this little girl has gone through ):

  • Cpt Obvious

    You guys are amazing 🙂

  • rae

    lets do this people!

  • Peter

    You are beautiful, and I hope you recieve the same chance as everyone to thrive in life as one should.

    …or shal I say, Chive in life…

  • Chiver@Heart

    It's initiatives like these that make me love the Chive. Chive on, Zoe, the Chivers are coming to the rescue!

  • Undershooter30

    You do good work John, thank you for allowing us chivers to be a part of that help. KCCO my friend

  • misschris

    Her story brought tears to my eyes. What a special, darling little girl. Hang in there kiddo, Chive love & support is on the way! KCCO and big (but gentle) hugs & kisses!

  • prankmonkey

    Big love to Zoe and her incredible family

    And big love to everyone who has donated, and to the chive for bringing this to our attention. Let's have at it, folks

  • KeepinCalm

    #20 Such a cute little girl

  • sjd

    #2
    Hang in there Zoe! We got your back.

  • http://twitter.com/Richteriano @Richteriano

    I'm not gonna lie, this makes me cry… OK, let's do this chive family, they need our help

  • Perin

    Done.. Simplest decision i have had to make.. ever.. 🙂

  • treebeard

    As a father, this brought me to tears.. I can't even begin to imagine.. Proud to have donated, even if it isn't as much as I may have liked..

  • AB

    Take my money.. god bless

  • Chiver

    Donate ALL the monies!

  • Luis Flores

    I think its awesome what TheChive does, it's truly an amazing thing and that is why i love this site. I got chills reading this post. KCCO Zoe! The Chive community is behind you!

  • Verbal_Kint

    I'm not gonna lie, I flat out cried. Thanks, John for letting us participate in the good work you do.

    • CosmoKramerTheAssMan

      Yep. Me too.

      CKTAM

  • Shabooms

    #12 Such a happy girl!! Best wishes KCCO!!

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