This Woman With A Rare Disease Is Looking To Be Reunited With Her Lost Stuffed Cow
Hammy the Cow has been with her through 300 nights in the hospital, 30 surgeries, and 12 chemotherapy sessions.
This is Hannah Kiresuk and her beloved stuffed cow, Hammy the Cow.
Kiresuk, who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, was diagnosed with juvenile myasthenia gravis when she was 16.
Juvenile myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease that weakens muscles, causes vision issues, and can make it difficult to walk, according to Boston Children's Hospital.
"It gives you symptoms like multiple sclerosis, but it's treated like cancer," Kiresuk told BuzzFeed News.
Kiresuk, now 20, has spent about 300 nights in the hospital as a result of her disease. Hammy the Cow has been with her through every single one of them. He's also been with her for 30 surgeries and 12 chemotherapy sessions.
She made Hammy at the Minnesota State Fair when she was 11 at a mobile Build-A-Bear station. She said he's been at her side ever since.
Hammy now has a zipper pocket with a stuffed cloth organ to match each of Hannah's surgeries. He also has a matching trachea, oxygen tube, and an ankle bracelet from UCSD Medical Center from a surgery Kireusk underwent at the hospital.
He also has two patches over his eyes from Hannah's eye surgery.
But Hammy was lost on Sunday in downtown Minneapolis while Kiresuk was on her way to a Children's Organ Transplant Association benefit to fund her bone marrow transplant.
The bone marrow transplant is Kiresuk's final alternative to treat the disease, but it's not covered under her health insurance because it is considered experimental.
It took Kiresuk about 10 minutes to realize Hammy fell out of her bag somewhere between the parking lot and restaurant. A search party looked for him around the area for over two hours, but he couldn't be found.
Kiresuk said she has not been "too great" without Hammy by her side. He rested at her feet behind sterile drapes during her surgeries and has been at her side through all of her chemotherapy sessions.
"My health is really poor," she said. "Friday is another big dose of chemo. Hammy has been to every one. If he weren't home it'd be the first chemo therapy session without him."
"It would mean a lot to get him back," she said. "People ask, 'Why can't you just replace him?' But you can’t replace an animal like that."
She said they shared such a long personal history.
"He's just really special," she said. "Everyone knows him. They greet Hannah and Hammy. Everybody knows Hammy the Cow."