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Western Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of neighborhood, personal and community commitment. Our pride in pulling together goes far beyond supporting our deep-rooted sports teams. 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference honors the individuals that are making a difference in people's lives on the ground level and reminding us we are all truly a part of each other's lives.This special series, supported by UPMC, will highlight, honor and celebrate Western Pennsylvanians who are unsung heroes daring to make a difference to others in our community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770c8000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770ca000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cc000090.5 WESA PA listening area counties:Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland, Butler, Armstrong, Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Fayette, Indiana00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cd0000This project is made possible by a generous contribution from UPMC.

Jamie Holmes, Making Dreams Come True

Debbi Casini Klein
90.5 WESA

Read and listen to a story about Jamie Holmes as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

Can you imagine spending your entire life in and out of hospitals, having to go through 45 major operations by the time you’re only 26 years old?   

That’s been Jamie's life since the day she was born with a rare disorder, VATAR  Syndrome.  
“When she was born, she was born with all of these abnormalities” recalls her mom, Kimberly. “Her throat and esophagus were connected as one, that had to be separated, and she didn’t have a rectum. The kidney disintegrated in her body, so there is just one kidney that she has. They said Jamie would never walk or talk, and that if Jamie ever lived, she would be pretty much useless as a person.”

Jamie survived — and thrived — and although she averages two major operations a year, she has devoted her young life to helping others suffering from serious medical trauma.