Bianca Castro

Courageous Kids: Shaeffer Vetterick

Shaeffer Vetterick has accomplished more than doctors ever thought possible, with strength that can only come from her spirit.

NBC 5 caught up with her at pool.

Swimming is one of her favorite activities, but learning how to swim has been Shaeffer's biggest challenge yet.

"Sometimes I give up but then I try again and again. I never give up. It's who I am," said Shaeffer.

Shaeffer has an undiagnosed muscular disease that affects how her brain talks to her muscles.

Countless sessions of physical therapy helped her reach basic childhood milestones, like walking and jumping.

"She has to do things over and over again to know how to do them, to teach herself how to do them," explains Carmen Vetterick, Shaeffer's mother.

"I couldn't run as fast as everyone else. I couldn't jump rope as good as everyone else. It was just hard for me to fit in," said Shaeffer.

However, she didn't let that stop her from embracing life.

It may have taken more practice than most, but Shaeffer has excelled in ways doctors weren't sure would be possible.

She learned how to ice skate, became a girl scout, she's in musical theater, a novice pianist and she's accomplished one of her biggest dreams of becoming a cheerleader.

"It helps me with my muscles and when ever it helps with my muscles, I feel stronger and stronger," she said.

"She is only seven so she is going to make it.  We are going to learn to ride a bike, not as fast as she liked to, but we are going to get all that stuff down," said Carmen.  

But for now, it's on to conquering the pool, which will take only a matter of time for this spirited 7-year-old whose limits are boundless.

"She can do everything. She just has to try," said Carmen.

Doctors hope further genetic testing as Shaeffer gets older will pinpoint the cause of the disease.

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