Meet AnnaKate Weekes and her mom, Kelly Weekes
AnnaKate is a joy to everyone she meets! She came into our lives through the blessing of adoption. At 3 months old she was diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RTS). RTS is a rare genetic disorder that affects many organ systems. RTS is characterized by growth delays, distinctive facial features, intellectual disability, abnormally broad angulated thumbs, and communication issues.
When AnnaKate was diagnosed I grieved. I thought this diagnosis meant we would be missing out on “normal” things, but in reality, we were opened up to a world of joy, triumphs, and happiness. Soon after her diagnosis, we found so many amazing local opportunities. AnnaKate spent many years in preschool at the Meyer Center with some of the most wonderful teachers and therapists. There she created a strong foundation of growth and began making huge progress physically and intellectually. Soon, I began looking for recreational activities for AnnaKate and was happy to find Happy Hooves Therapeutic Equestrian Center. At 5 years old, AnnaKate said her first words while riding a horse! Happy Hooves was the glue that linked all her therapies. Watching her grow and learn in such an inclusive environment was another reminder that she was not disabled but differently abled. AnnaKate has participated in Special Olympics gymnastics at Foothills Gymnastics in Easley and danced with SHOCK Dance and Dance Without Limits. We have felt so fortunate that she has had so many opportunities in our community that has helped her learn and grow.
AnnaKate is now 16 and loves to be outside, swing, listen to music, and be with friends. Camp Spearhead is her favorite place on earth and she looks forward to going every summer.