A Liverpool Girl Scout earned her silver award through a project that culminated with the donation of a bookshelf full of children’s books and Etch-a-Sketch toys to Upstate’s Pediatric Rheumatology office.
Nicole Abbott, 14, was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 20 months after her parents – Amy Aboott and Miriam Hudecheck – noticed she had trouble walking. Since then, she has had five broken bones. She takes medication and is seen regularly by Dr. William Hannan, MD, a pediatric rheumatologist. Nicole got into scouting as a Daisy Scout in kindergarten.
For her silver award, Nicole spent 30 hours making hot packs. She sewed bandanas together, filled with feed corn. The packs can be heated in a microwave to provide pain relief.
“I chose that because when I was very young, from kindergarten through third grade, those and my hot tub would help me feel better,” Nicole said. She sold 30 of the packs for $5 each and used those proceeds to purchase the books and toys. She also donated 20 hot packs to the hospital for pediatric rheumatology patients.
Amy Abbott said the disease has helped her daughter become empathetic. “I think it has made her stronger. She’s got a strong, loving spirit.” Nicole is active in swimming and the FAME club at Liverpool High School. She also remains a part of the Girl Scouts and has begun considering projects to do for her gold award for next year.