Morquio syndrome is a rare genetic defect, occurring in approximately one in every 200,000 births. The progressive condition prevents the body from breaking down sugar chains known as glycosaminoglycans; it also affects growth and bone development.
Consequently, by the time that Bella was 11 years old, she relied on a wheelchair or crutches to get around. And this had a devastating effect on the little girl’s happiness. “I’m just like, I don’t want this anymore,” she told dog-centric website BarkPost in 2016.
Nine major surgeries would be enough to last anyone a lifetime; for Bella, however, those operations on her feet and hips had already been part and parcel of her short life. And now that she was relying on crutches to balance, her parents worried that she was losing vital strength in her legs.