LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been nearly two months since 7News first brought you the story of one tiny girl and her unknown medical condition. I've been following the progress of Jalyn Seymore and am proud to report today that a lot has happened since you first met this toddler.
Weighing in at only ten pounds and measuring a mere two feet tall, little Jalyn Seymore captured the attention and hearts of many viewers - as they watched a dedicated mother in the search for answers to her child's unknown medical condition. Jalyn's mom, Stephanie Spears says, "It's been a blessing to know that someone out there really is concerned or cares about the situation."
The story of Jalyn even made its way into homes outside of Southwest Louisiana and is now bridging the gap between one student in Zachary, Louisiana (near Baton Rouge) and Jalyn's hometown of Lake Charles. "It was on the news one evening when I got home from school," says ZHS 10th grader Diondra Harris, "and the next day I brought it to my first hour teacher and she was said she thought it'd be a good idea if I talked to the principal about it."
Diondra took her idea to the principal and asked if there could be an announcement made at the school for other students to hear Jalyn's story. ZHS receptionist Sandy Walters says, "She said that she had found a news story about a little girl that was two years old, that had some medical problems and that she wanted to raise money to go towards that."
Like Jalyn, Diondra was born prematurely and had medical issues of her own in childhood. Knowing the financial strain this can put on a family, Diondra said she couldn't *not take action. "Because if I raised money then whatever she had," says Diondra, "whatever medical reason she had, I know it would've helped - it doesn't matter how much money it was, it was gonna help."
With the motivation of one student and the support of the entire student body at Zachary High School, in just three days, nearly $1,000 was raised for a little girl these students had never even met. "It made me feel good that I've done something for someone who really needed something," says Diondra.
Little did Diondra know that she would be repaid in a very personal way for the difference that she made in Jalyn's life. After Jalyn's mom heard about Diondra's big heart for her tiny girl, a surprise meeting was arranged at Zachary High School. "Just coming to Zachary High," says Stephanie, "it's been a great privilege just to be able to drive down here and to thank her in person."
To top the day off, Stephanie was able to share with Diondra a new development in her daughter's story: she finally has a diagnosis - a rare genetic disorder called Ear Patella Short Stature Syndrome or EPS. "There are no serious medical issues," says Stephanie, "we still don't know what height she's going to reach, because it's something that's still rare."
Jalyn will continue to see specialists who can cater to her medical condition. Diondra hopes to take her love for children and the medical field to make a difference as a pediatrician.
"Anyone can make a difference," says Diondra, "if they just try it."