Angie Ardolf has a passion for sharing the story of her daughter, Ruby. Angie has blogged and shared Instagram pictures and videos of her beloved daughter for years. Ruby is now 12-years-old and has an extremely rare genetic disorder called Stromme syndrome. There are only 12 known cases of Stromme syndrome in the world. The condition causes a variety of disabilities, including visual impairment, microcephaly, developmental delays, and digestive issues. Although Ruby can see light and color, her vision is still very much impaired, and she struggles with many other effects of Stromme syndrome. Despite these disabilities, Ruby has defied the odds and lives what her mother calls “an amazing, happy, inclusive life.”
Ruby’s future did not always look so bright. Angie revealed on her blog the many challenges she faced before Ruby was even born. Ruby was an unplanned pregnancy, and her father did not support Angie’s decision to choose Life. Tragically, Ruby’s father died before she was born. Angie’s situation became even more challenging when an ultrasound revealed that Ruby was measuring very small and appeared to have several abnormalities. Through a series of troubling ultrasounds and frustrating doctors’ appointments, Angie learned that her daughter might never walk or talk and she might not even live until birth. Doctors asked Angie if she wanted to end Ruby’s life in abortion, and she refused.
For the first time of what has become a common theme in her life, Ruby proved all the predictions wrong. She was born, underwent surgery, and, after 56 days in the NICU, began her amazing life in the world. Ruby did learn to walk at age three, and she started to talk at age four. Angie has shared many videos about how Ruby attends a special education program at her public school, which focuses on integrating Ruby into many activities with her peers. The inclusive environment has allowed Ruby to thrive and make many friends, while also learning at her own pace and receiving assistance for her disabilities.
Over the years, Angie has shared cute moments and exciting milestones online. Mostly, the updates were for friends and family who love seeing Ruby’s smiling face. Recently, however, an Instagram video of Ruby responding to a series of silly questions became an overnight sensation. Angie posted the video before going to bed. In the morning, the video had 21,000 views and counting. Now, the video has more than half a million views with thousands of positive comments. Ruby’s enthusiasm has touched people around the world, bringing smiles to the faces of people who would never have met her if her mother hadn’t shared a bit of her life online. Angie recognized the power of Ruby’s positivity. She said, through the comments and reactions “I was being shown that Ruby’s love and light was needed by others–and on top of that, I had been given the channel in which to share her with the world!”
Angie was inspired to continue her passion of sharing Ruby’s beautiful, funny, and adorable moments with the world. She and Ruby used the fame to raise money for a guide dog to accompany Ruby in the years to come. They plan to post many more pictures and videos and keep in touch with their many fans.