Alana Inslee is just like every other fourth grader at Brookfield Elementary School. She goes to class, she’s a girl scout, and even spends her afternoons at dance lessons. What makes her unique, is that she has acrodysostosis and hydrocephalus.
Acrodysostosis is a rare genetic disorder which causes growth delays and small hands and feet with shorter than normal fingers and toes. Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid in the ventricles deep within the brain, which increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain, leading to a larger than normal head.
Even though Alana is non-verbal, she still can understand everything that goes on around her, and she is able to communicate using a speech device and hand signs, what her mom calls “Lana Language.”
By now, you might be wondering how this young girl ended up being a Nichols College Football Fan. Alana’s mother, Kim, tells THE LAKE 940, “We actually met the team while volunteering at the Worcester County Sheriff’s picnic in August of 2017.” Alana was working side by side with the team, who was also doing community service, and became buddies with number 4, Zach Fashaw.
“Most people don’t treat Alana like a normal child, but the Nichols team did. She is a normal child but she just has to do things a little bit different.”
The Nichols Football Team even made her an honorary captain for their first game last year. Alana’s mom says they try to attend as many games as possible, “the ones that we can’t make, we watch on live stream, and we always text the coach before the game” joking, the few times they didn’t, the team lost.
On Monday, while at practice, The Nichols Football Team did something special for this young fan. Days before her 11th birthday the team decided they would let Alana score a touchdown. It was captured on video and shared online with the hopes it would go viral and end up on ESPN Sports Center.
Of course after practice, there was plenty of cake and celebrating to go around.
Happy 11th Birthday Alana! Go Bison! Watch the video of the touchdown, and see more photos from the party below.
We’ve had some great touchdowns scored this season on the field, but we think this is the best one! #SCtop10 SportsCenter #bisonpride
Posted by Nichols College Football on Tuesday, October 9, 2018
We would like to wish a very speacial birthday to Alana. Loved having you with us today! #bisonpride #morethanagame #family