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BRIANNE SCHWANTES

Born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a rare congenital condition also known as brittle bone disease, Brianne's doctors initially gave her less than 24 hours to live. But when those 24 hours stretched first into days and then into weeks, it became strikingly clear that this little girl whose bones could break with the slightest movement was not planning to give up so easily.

With tremendous support from her family, Brianne learned to face each day with humor, optimism and courage never fearing the worst, and never pitying herself for her fragile condition. In spite of dozens of surgeries, more than 60 broken bones, countless experimental treatments and the ever-present possibility of injury, Brianne has simply refused to let a silly thing like a life-threatening illness get in the way of living life to its fullest.

Today Brianne is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin where she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Communication. She continues to see doctors at the National Institutes of Health several times a year and is an outspoken advocate for patient's rights and the importance of medical research.




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