Robot lets Lakewood 7-year-old attend school for the first time since being diagnosed with rare illness

Posted by Julia Bianco, Digital Content Producer, WOIO

LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) – A 7-year-old from Lakewood attended school for the first time in the year and a half since she was diagnosed with a severe bone marrow disease on Wednesday, and it was all thanks to a robot.

Maisie Nowlin was diagnosed with Very Severe Aplastic Anemia (VSAA) in September of 2015, shortly after her sixth birthday. VSAA is a life-threatening illness that affects the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells for the body. Maisie received a bone marrow transplant in April of 2016, but is now suffering from complications.

Maisie has been unable to attend school since her diagnosis due to the increased risk for infection. Her parents created a GoFundMe page in December with the goal of fundraising enough money for a VGO robot, which would allow Maisie to replicate all of the things she would normally do while in school, like moving around the room independently, answering questions and participating in class discussion.

The family had a goal of raising $10,000 to pay for the robot and the yearly subscription, but ended up raising over $16,000.

“Maisie Nowlin meets the world with inquisitive eyes, a smile, and usually a question or two,” her parents wrote. “She is bright, sunny, has a million friends, and wakes up every morning ready to roll with whatever the day has in store. Maisie is exceptionally caring and kind to babies, particularly her own little sister. She is patient and loving and gets a huge kick out of her younger brothers. She is the chatty, bubbly center of the Nowlin family and a light to her extended family and friends as well.”

When Maisie has recovered to the point where she can attend school again, her parents want to donate the robot to another child in need.

You can see a video of Maisie in school using the robot below. You can follow Maisie’s story on her Facebook page, Maroon for Maisie.