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Achieving Her Goals and Exceeding Her Dreams

MiKenli is grateful for the care she receives at Shriners Children's Greenville.

According to an early prognosis, Shriners Children’s Greenville patient MiKenli was never supposed to walk or use her arms.

But after observing the strength and tenacity of the 6-year-old, you can tell she has never been one to let another person’s estimation of her abilities keep her from accomplishing anything.

Born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), which is characterized by a number of rare muscle disorders that can cause stiff joints and abnormal muscle development, MiKenli’s range of motion in her arms and legs is limited. The challenges of the diagnosis could have prevented her from ever leaving a wheelchair. However, thanks to the expertise of Lauren Hyer, M.D., the support of her family and her determined disposition, MiKenli can walk and is working to master life-changing daily tasks.

Coming to Shriners [Children's] was the best move we’ve ever made.
Shantel, MiKenli's mom, Greenville

Even so, the journey to healing hasn’t always been easy.

Before Shantel, MiKenli's mother, saw a commercial advertising Shriners Children’s and realized there was a hospital with dedicated, optimistic caregivers specializing in pediatric orthopedic conditions just three hours away from her front door, MiKenli struggled through surgery after surgery. During two of them, she had to be resuscitated.

“Because MiKenli is a fighter, she always pulled through,” explained Shantel. Then, the family finally met Dr. Hyer. “Dr. Hyer is a godsend … I trust her to always do the right thing in the right timing for MiKenli. She wouldn’t be where she is today without the help of the team at Shriners [Children's] Greenville.”

From working with occupational therapists who specialize in helping children with AMC perform daily activities like buttoning a shirt or eating cereal, to undergoing surgery and improving her range of motion, MiKenli has spent countless hours working to meet her goals – and it shows. She loves to dance and do gymnastics, and her journey is chronicled on Instagram, where over 134,000 “followers” get the opportunity to celebrate milestones with MiKenli and her ever-present best friend and twin, MiKenzi.

“By seeing my children, I hope people can see that this doesn’t mean your life is over,” said Shantel. “It isn’t how it starts, it’s how it progresses.”

Meet MiKenli

With the care provided at Shriners Children's, MiKenli is achieving her dreams.

MiKenli with five family members holding signs that read: I love someone with arthrogryposis, AMC Strong, Besties, AMC Warrior

MiKenli smiles big with her family at the annual Shriners Children's AMC: Journey to Functional Freedom Conference.

MiKenli with sister during examination

With her best friend and twin by her side, MiKenli is ready to tackle any treatments that come her way. Pictured: MiKenli with sister during treatment.

MiKenli with Dr. Hyer

Thankful for the care of Shriners Children's, MiKenli's mom, Shantel, credits her daughter's progress to her care team and physician Dr. Hyer. Pictured: MiKenli with Dr. Hyer.

MiKenli with twin sister

Beautiful, smart and determined, MiKenli is #AMCStrong. Pictured: Mikenli with twin sister.


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