Your Health: Bowling to building Albinism awareness - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health: Bowling to building Albinism awareness

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Birmingham, AL -

One Hoover family is bringing great purpose to an afternoon of bowling.
And it started with the birth of David and Niya Miller's son nearly two years ago.
Their expectations of a totally healthy baby were overcome with grief and fear... after baby Noah was diagnosed with a rare inherited disorder.
But, their precious gift led to the family's mission to educate people about "albinism" and acceptance ...and to connect families. #


     Little Noah Miller and his family are getting ready for a special bowl-a-thon at Oak Mountain Lanes.
   The 22 month old toddler is the center of the upcoming event to build a community of awareness and acceptance for people with albinism.
 
     Noah was born with the rare pigmentation disorder called albinism. A disorder, David and Niya Miller had never seen or heard of at the time.
     It affects the body's ability to produce pigmentation and it impairs vision.
     Albinism causes people to have light, little or no color of their hair, skin and eyes.
 
      Niya Pickett-Miller says, "When I think back to when Noah was first diagnosed in addition to feeling fear the one emotion I can recall the most was feeling isolated. Even though I had the support of friends and family, I sort of felt alone, like no one else really knows how we feel or what we are going through."
    
      The Oak Mountain Lanes is the site of the Miller's coming out event last March to shed the shame and fear and to educate others about albinism.
      The bowl-a-thon called Noah 4 NOAH is a fundraiser for the national organization, ironically with the same name as little Noah Miller.
     It's  the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation.
     Funds raised at the bowl-a-thon will help significantly help other families like the Millers.
 
    Niya Pickett-Miller says, "Primarily, it's been through the use of webinars, teleconferences; to talk to other moms around the country. We have optometry, dermatology, people who are athletes. They come on and share their stories. They give us the latest and greatest in technology to assist in vision impairment."

     NOAH also provides materials, like this card of information.  Niya hands-it-out to others who may wonder why baby Noah looks different.

     Niya says, it was with the organization's support that she found encouragement and hope.

    Niya encourages Noah to push , push bowling ball and it rolls.
 
     She says, "Noah is good. He's great. he's growing.His vision is stable . Right on track."

     Niya Pickett-Miller says, "now, I feel confident in Noah's ability. He's incredibly independent.  I feel hopeful and  and I feel encouraged and that's greatly due to the fact that I've had opportunities to talk to other people with albinism.''
"We're looking forward to him participating inviting his friends now he has classmates that get invitations."

     The Second Annual Noah4NOAH Bowl-a-thon is set for March 22nd at Oak Mountain Lanes at 12:30 P.M.

     Niya Pickett-Miller describes, "Just your typically bowling experience, lots of kids, pizza, cake, sodas.. a good time. There are gonna be some serious bowlers and then a lane for kids to bowl for fun.
   
 The mother says, "For us personally the bowl-a-thon is an event to connect. We hope to connect with other families like ours. We think it's important for Noah and our daughter even ourselves to connect with other people in the state."

     Niya says, "The connection is important to me because that's really how I've gotten through the process of understanding albinism figuring out what resources my son needs. Connection is really important because for fellowship and to really bond, form relationships with people who are like you. This is what we've done."

   Niya and Noah now leaving out of the building.  As Noah sings, "Happy".
 
    This adorable, active toddler is going around spreading joy, while the Millers hope other families join in the bowl-a-thon... an fun opportunity to build a community of tolerance and acceptance of others.  

When going to car Noah blows a  kiss.  He and his mother both say, "Bye, bye. See you there!"
#

 The Noah4NOAH Bowl-a-thon will take place Saturday, March 22nd  at 12:30 at Oak Mountain Lanes on Highway 31 in Pelham.   
 Part of their goal is to create a community for Noah and individuals like him and their families.    Also, they want to connect with other Alabama families impacted by Albinism.
 Everyone is welcomed to come and participate in the bowl-a-thon.
 They aim is to raise $2,000 for the national NOAH organization.
It's just a $25 donation to participate in the bowl-a-thon.
To learn more, go to www.albinism.org.

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