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The Lake News Online
  • A Tru story of survival

  • When someone asks 4-year-old Tru Fields what her favorite color is, she commonly answers, "the rainbow!" Her favorite movie is Beetlejuice and she loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She owns almost every Toy Story action figure and cannot get enough of the movie. She rides four wheelers and even has her own. She currently...
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    • If you go...

      What: First Annual Benefit Grand Glaize Bridge Car Show
      Where: East of bridge on the parkway near Panera Bread, Andy's Frozen Custard and Pop-A-Wheelies Pizza and Burgers

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      If you go...

      What: First Annual Benefit Grand Glaize Bridge Car Show

      Where: East of bridge on the parkway near Panera Bread, Andy's Frozen Custard and Pop-A-Wheelies Pizza and Burgers

      When: September 14

      Time: 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.

      Fifteen percent of sales from the sponsors made during the car show will be given to Tru Fields.

  • When someone asks 4-year-old Tru Fields what her favorite color is, she commonly answers, "the rainbow!" Her favorite movie is Beetlejuice and she loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She owns almost every Toy Story action figure and cannot get enough of the movie. She rides four wheelers and even has her own. She currently attends pre-school in the Morgan County R-II District and has dreams of playing soccer like her big sisters.
    Tru sounds like any other 4-year-old, but there is one catch. She was born at 29 weeks and has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.
    If one were to meet Tru, they would quickly realize that she does not allow her disability to stand in her way. She keeps up with her sisters, Kara and Jordana along with her step-siblings, and has a feisty personality that is contagious.
    When Tru's parents became pregnant, they were overjoyed. Most of the pregnancy was "normal" according to mom Jami Dorrell.
    That remained true for the first 20 weeks. At week 20, she went for a normal check-up and found out that her white blood cell count was high. Doctors immediately sent her to Columbia for further tests.
    Then she was told what she says was the most terrifying thing a mother can hear: "Your baby is in trouble."
    Dorrell later found out that she has a condition that causes her body to treat the baby like a parasite. Tru desperately needed blood that day.
    "She had her first blood transfusion that day and it saved her life," Dorrell recalled.
    After that, Dorrell and Tru's father, Josh Fields, had to travel to Columbia each week for Tru to have blood transfusions. Her pregnancy was officially deemed "high risk."
    Dorrell's doctor's goal was to make it to 35 weeks, but Tru had a different plan in mind.
    At 29 weeks, Dorrell recalls sitting on the couch late one night with a stomachache at their home in Versailles. She had c-sections with her other two daughters and had never experienced labor pains so she thought nothing of her stomachache. She was up all night feeling poorly and recalls the pain getting stronger then stopping for minutes at a time the next morning. She then realized that she just might be in labor and decided to head to the hospital with Fields' mother.
    "I was scared I was going to have her on the side of the road on the way to Columbia," Dorrell said.
    Two hospitals later, she was admitted and told that she indeed was having contractions. After being in labor from Sunday evening at 8 p.m. until Tuesday at 3 p.m., Tru finally arrived via c-section.
    Dorrell recalls that precise moment.
    Page 2 of 3 - "I laid there, stared at the ceiling and kept saying to myself, 'Cry, please, cry,'" she said.
    She knew that if Tru cried then she would know that she was alive.
    "It sounded like the littlest kitten screeching," Dorrell remembered. "It was beautiful."
    Dorrell did not get to see Tru before they whisked her away but Fields did. He held all 3 pounds and 8 ounces of her for just a few seconds and recalled that she had a head full of black hair.
    "She was barely bigger than my hand," Fields remembered.
    Tru was born on October 6, 2009. Six weeks later she was able to come home. It was not until months later did Tru's parents realize that she had cerebral palsy. They had been warned but say she seemed normal until about six months later.
    At six months, she was not rolling over or grabbing her feet like most babies. At nine months, she could sit up but needed help and by then would roll everywhere but never attempted to crawl. Her legs were "stiff as a board" with her toes turned inward.
    After visiting a specialist, the family learned through an MRI that Tru had sustained brain damage from lack of oxygen during birth.
    So far at 4-years-old, she has had one eye surgery and one tibial de-rotation. The family now wants to work toward another surgery called a dorsal rhizotomy.
    "I don't want her growing up being deformed," Dorrell said.
    The family hosted a 5K in her honor this summer in the Versailles area. Recently some lake-area residents decided to organize a fundraiser for Tru and her family so that Tru can get the surgery that she so desperately needs.
    After eating at Pop-A-Wheelie's Pizza and Burgers in Osage Beach, Fields began to share his family's story with owner, Scott Gwillim.
    Gwillim wanted to do something for the family so he reached out to Carolyn Handtke who oversees marketing for Panera Bread and Andy's Frozen Custard. That was when the First Annual Benefit Grand Glaize Bridge Car show was born. It will be hosted by the Lake of the Ozarks Car Club and sponsored by Panera Bread, Andy's Frozen Custard and Pop-A-Wheelies Pizza and Burgers. Each of those businesses will donate 15 percent of their sales during the car show to Tru.
    The funds raised will hopefully be a huge part of Tru being able to have the next surgery.
    Once she has the surgery, she will have to learn how to do everything she already does all over again since she will learn to use muscles she has never used before.
    This very smart and yet stubborn 4-year-old has inspired and amazed all that know her.
    Page 3 of 3 - "She has found her own way to do everything," Dorrell said.
    When Dorrell says everything she even means going up or down stairs. She refuses to let anyone help her. She uses her crutches and takes her time but she does it all on her own.
    Tru even uses her crutches to play golf. Her dream is to play soccer. After all, it is the family sport.
    When asked what her favorite part of pre-school was, she proudly said, "To look at books" and "play with balls."
    This spunky pre-schooler wants so badly to play sports and to run around like her big sisters. After meeting Tru, anyone would tell you that if she puts her mind to it, she can achieve it.
    "She is inspirational. She inspires me everyday," Dorrell said. "She has been a fighter since before she was born."
    Her two big sisters also see their little sister as an inspiration.
    "I like helping her when she needs help," 10-year-old Kara Van Vleck said.
    Seven-year-old Jordana Fields agreed, "When she needs help I like to help her a lot. I don't like it when she is hurt."
    The family is hoping to get a consultation for the surgery soon. In order to get a consultation, they had to have insurance. Fields recently signed up for insurance and received his card in the mail.

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