This article is an opinion. While cleaning out a closet last week, I found several items I hadn't thought about in years…my third grade annual from Evans Elementary School, a blue ribbon from 4-H Club and a gold trimmed certificate I had completely forgotten about. Back in the late 1990s, I was a frequent contributor for a small, nostalgia magazine in Arab. The publisher awarded the certificate to a local writer each year for their writing skills and passion for the art. I was new to the business and seeing my name imprinted beneath the words “Margaret Jean Jones Award” was quite an honor. The lady quickly became my hero. As a young child, Margaret Jean Jones, a native of Baileyton, was stricken with a rare disease called Myositis Ossificans Progressive. The condition only affects one in every one million people worldwide. It is an unusual disorder of muscle tissue and connective tissue that is gradually replaced by bone that literally forms outside the skeleton and causes the bones to calcify and grow together. 300×250 image ad The ailment began attacking Jones when she was just seven years old. One day she was practicing for the school play and the next she couldn't bend her back or raise her arms above her head. Doctors and specialists in 1943 were mystified by her sudden illness and had no idea how to treat it. The young girl stayed in school throughout her ordeal, but shortly after graduating from high school in […]
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