"I love my hospital and I want to help them," Addie Bryan tells PEOPLE
Addie Bryan of Rockwall, Texas, is asking for $8,000 for her 8th birthday – so she can donate it all to the children’s hospital that enabled her to walk.
Addie was born with Larsen’s syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the development of bones in the body. As a result, her knees were backward, her legs extended up to her head, she had hip dysplasia and a club foot.
Throughout her early childhood, Addie was a fixture at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. She underwent several surgeries and was fitted with casts she she had to wear for three years.
“She started [treatment] when she was 5 days old, and since then, she’s loved every bit of it,” Addie’s mom, Julie Bryan, tells PEOPLE. “The hospital staff really took a great interest in her early on and gave her that positive experience. Every time she would go, they gave her toys and popcorn and invited her to different events.”
When she was born, doctors weren’t sure Addie would ever be able to walk, but thanks to the treatment she received for free from the hospital, Addie has exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Despite the fact that her knees don’t bend, the young girl is now able to walk, run and swim.
“She’s very active,” Julie tells PEOPLE. “She swims on our neighborhood swim team, she plays tennis, she loves playing tee-ball and her P.E. teacher tells me she’s the best football thrower in the whole first grade.”
Although she keeps very busy with her numerous activities, Addie always finds time to give back to the hospital that gave her so much – from volunteering to posing for the hospital calendar.
And for her 8th birthday, Addie set a goal to raise $8,000 for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. She hopes to present the hospital with a check on her birthday, which is August 16.
“I love my hospital, and I want to help them,” Addie tells PEOPLE.
Between online fundraising efforts and community campaigning, the 7-year-old has already raised over $11,000.
Julie says she’s not at all surprised that her young daughter would use her birthday as an opportunity to help others.
“For us, this is just Addie,” Julie says. “This is who she is and what she does – it’s kind of always been her personality to want to help and give, especially to her hospital. It’s something very dear to her.”