Nineteen year old Jackie Yafanaro suffers from the most severe stage of a disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is a disease which makes one's bones brittle. She was born with this disease and was told she would not survive past two weeks yet has defied that prediction. She has suffered greatly throughout the years especially since one difficulty with her disease is that her organs are overcrowded in her chest cavity therefore causing her lungs to collapse every so often. Jackie is extremely petite, with a frame that is about 24 inches long and she weighs 22 pounds. Many of her bones were crushed at birth. She moves around in a specially made power wheel chair because she is unable to sit, stand or hold her head up. She had rods put into her arms to support her bones and will continue to undergo surgeries as long as she is with us.
Jackie remains a high spirited, positive and optimistic person considering everything she has been through. She was born in the Little Italy area and still lives there with her parents. Her mother is unable to work because she takes care of Jackie everyday. Jackie has a positive outlook on life and is grateful to the Betterment Network for making things easier on her everyday struggle of just living.