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Thanks to the Internet, all the world has become a stage for one little Casey County girl who has captured the hearts of people around the globe with her singing ability.
Three-year-old Grace Anna Rodgers, daughter of Jeff and Angie Rodgers, is featured singing the Star Spangled Banner on YouTube videos and on Facebook pages which have been shared more than 10 million times.
“It’s like wildfire, it’s unbelievable what has happened by Grace just being Grace,” Angie said of the sheer number of times Grace Anna’s video has been viewed.
But what’s even more remarkable is the progress that Grace Anna has made since being born with a rare form of dwarfism called Conradi Hunemann Syndrome.
Born blind due to cataracts, Grace also suffers from severe kyphosis, an over curvature of the upper spine as well as scoliosis of the spine.
However, Grace Anna now can see with glasses so well in fact, that doctors are pleased.
“At her last eye doctor appointment, she could say all her letters. They were jut amazed that she could see them so well,” Angie said.
Grace Anna has also had tubes removed from her ears and she no longer wears braces on her feet because they’ve straightened out.
She can also count to 100, she knows her letters, and she loves talking on the phone.
Angie said that Grace Anna has memorized the unlock codes for her cell phone and routinely scrolls through her mother’s contact list.
“She’ll see someone’s name and call them. She also sends text messages to people,” Angie said.
But as much as Grace loves technology, she’s mastered the art of using it to display her charms by singing.
“She wanted to sing the Star Spangled Banner so one night she did it and I put her on it,” Angie said, referring to posting a video of Grace Anna on Facebook.
And the rest is history, with millions of views and people contacting Angie from around the world.
WOWK Channel 13, a TV station in Charleston-Huntington, recently aired Grace Anna’s video on their nightly news program and it has received more than 185,000 “likes.”
“I had to get a post office box so many people wanted to send Grace Anna things,” Angie said. “She’s gotten money, gift cards, cards, and other things,” Angie said.
In addition, Angie spends what little free time she has trying to answer thousands of e-mails and Facebook messages that people have sent.
Still, with the joy that Grace Anna brings others, this little girl with an infectious smile faces her own continuing battles with physical ailments.
“We are returning to Baltimore in November. Her kneecaps have become dislocated and if they cannot do something with it under sedation, she’s going to have to have knee surgery,” Angie said.
Additionally, the internal hardware that’s helping straighten Grace Anna’s spine has shifted and she now wears a brace until her doctors in Baltimore can decide what course of action to take.
But no matter what comes, Angie said she’s thankful that God is using Grace Anna to bless people everywhere.
“I told Jeff the other night that I couldn’t answer any more messages from people because they were making me cry. She has really blessed people with the video,” Angie said.
Grace Anna’s singing video can be viewed on Facebook under Grace Anna sings.