In a heartwarming video from 2018 that quickly gained viral attention, a heart-melting display of love, friendship, and encouragement unfolded between Ruby Hoffman and her best friend, Abbie. At the tender age of 3, Ruby, who has a rare mobility-affecting disorder, found solace and support in her dear friend. The heartwarming video captured their interaction on a specially designed driveway race track. Abbie assisted Ruby in maneuvering her modified electric toy car, a kid-friendly motorized wheelchair. Their genuine bond and compassion exemplify the power of true childhood friendships.
Ruby Hoffman, a precious child from West Manchester Township, has always stood out in extraordinary ways. While both of her parents have brown eyes, Ruby was born with striking blue eyes. At just 16 months old, she was diagnosed with leukodystrophy, a rare condition that affects the brain’s white matter. Specifically, Ruby has a form of leukodystrophy called H-ABC, which only has eight known cases worldwide as of 2016. Leukodystrophy is a degenerative disease that progressively robs affected children of their abilities to crawl, walk, swallow, speak, smile, and laugh. Despite the challenges, Ruby’s mother, Mindy Hoffman, acknowledges their family’s journey hasn’t been easy but finds inspiration in the power of love and connection, as witnessed in the heartfelt bond between Ruby and Abbie.
Presently, leukodystrophy remains an incurable and ultimately fatal condition. For children who have already developed symptoms, treatment options are limited. However, newborn screenings hold immense potential as a critical tool for early detection, enabling timely treatment administration before symptoms manifest. Pioneering research in France and Italy explores revolutionary gene therapies aimed at curing affected children and preventing the onset of the disease. These groundbreaking advancements offer hope for a future where children like Ruby can lead healthy lives from the very beginning.
Despite the challenges posed by this debilitating disease, the Hoffmans refuse to let it define their lives. Mindy Hoffman regularly updates their Facebook page, providing glimpses into their beautiful moments as a family. Ruby often engages in playful activities with her cousins, celebrates milestones such as her seventh birthday at the roller skating rink, and shares heartwarming moments of affection with her mother. Mindy describes Ruby as a blessing and a source of immeasurable joy in their lives, a reminder of the strength that can be found amidst adversity.
In a remarkable achievement, Ruby recently became the proud owner and licensed driver of her power wheelchair. This significant milestone represents a substantial step forward from her modified electric car, which she navigated with Abbie’s assistance. Ruby’s new wheelchair incorporates head array technology, enabling her to control its movement by applying pressure to the sensors in the headrest pads. The pure elation radiating from Ruby as she skillfully maneuvers her chair across the room is a testament to her indomitable spirit.
To learn more about leukodystrophy and contribute to the cause, visit The Calliope Joy Foundation. For those wishing to support Ruby and other children affected by this rare disease, donations can be made to Ruby’s GoFundMe page and the Foundation to Fight H-ABC.
Ruby Hoffman, a rare gem facing the challenges of leukodystrophy with unwavering determination, inspires all who encounter her. Her story highlights the power of genuine childhood friendships, the importance of raising awareness about leukodystrophy, and the ongoing pursuit of a cure for this devastating condition. Let us join hands and support these brave children, their families, and the researchers and doctors committed to transforming their lives. Together, we can make a difference.