Courtney in the News!

Princess Courtney has had the honor of being on or in various forms of news. Below are some of Princess Courtney's appearances. You made need various types of applications to open Princess Courtney's articles. Links with a beside it means you will need Adobe Reader to open it. Links with a beside it means you will need Microsoft Word (MS Word) to open it.



*Newspaper & Magazine*





WindCheck - Sailing the Northeast - November 2008
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FOX 26 Employee Helps Family of Girl With Disability
Last Edited: Friday, 14 Nov 2008, 7:22 PM CST
Created: Friday, 14 Nov 2008, 7:18 PM CST

Watch Courtney on Fox 26 Here

HOUSTON  --  As journalists, our job is to be objective, to cover the news and move on to the next day. However, sometimes we can't help but be touched by the people we see.  Such is the case with one of our photographers, Ray Ramirez, and a family hoping for their "happily ever after."

*Princess Courtney*

They call their 5-year old child "Princess Courtney."  She wasn't expected to survive past her second birthday because of a condition called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. It's a motor neuron disease that affects her muscles.  She can't move, speak, eat, or swallow. 
Her family held a special birthday party and fundraiser for her, when she turned 5.  Our Sports photographer, Ray, got assigned to the story.  He was expecting a typical birthday party, but instead was amazed with this miracle child.  He has talked to numerous people in the community, trying to get them much needed help. 
Courtney's care is a 24-hour per day job.  She has to be suctioned every few minutes, since she can't swallow.  Her mother and grandmother can't work, because they take care of her every minute of the day. 
They're trying to build  Courtney a handicapped accessible room and wheelchair accessible shower, but that costs a lot of money.  They  have health insurance, but it doesn't cover many of the necessities and some of the medical equipment needed, to keep Courtney alive. 
They would also love to build her a handicapped accessible play house. 
If you can help, you can make checks payable to:
Linda Rosas/Benefit for Courtney Rosas
P.O. Box 1314
South Houston, TX  77587 
You can also send donations through Pay Pal, on their Web site:  


Directions - Spring 2008
Princess Courtney is featured in the Families of SMA newsletter, Directions, Spring 2008 issue.
Click Here to read the article (PDF File), written by Grandma Linda, on page 32.


Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Tino Martinez

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a motor neuron disease, caused by an autosomal recessive genetic disease. Motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that humans use for everyday activities. SMA affects muscles mainly near the core of the body, however, the lower extremities is usually susceptible to weakness compared to upper extremities.  Sensation and intellectual activity are not affected, and patients are usually bright and sociable. People affected with SMA are divided into one of four types of SMA, based on certain physical milestones. (1)

Spinal Muscular Atrophy, SMA, is caused by the mutation of the SMN1, Survival Motor Neuron, gene found on the 5th chromosome. For a patient to inherit SMA, the individual must inherit two faulty SMN1 genes from both parents. Since it requires two faulty chromosomes, usually the parents of the SMA children do not have SMA; parents with only one faulty chromosome are usually normal without any side effects, they are called carriers. It is believed that approximately 1 in 40 people are carriers throughout the world. There are 3 combinations that occurs between 2 SMA carriers during pregnancy: 25% chance child affected with SMA, 50% chance child who is a SMA carrier and 25% chance who would not be affected nor a carrier. SMA is an autonomic recessive genetic disorder that is defined as a trait that is passed on from both parents who carry a mutated gene. The majority of mutations are usually either deletions or conversions. (2)

There are four categories of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is determined on physical milestones achieved, and may vary from patient to patient. The first type, Type 1, also known as, Werdnig-Hoffmann Disease, and is usually diagnosed in children before 6 months. Type 2 is usually diagnosed before the age of 2, normally around 15 months. Type 3, also known as Kugelberg-Welander or Juvenile SMA, is more variable in onset and diagnosis. The last type, Type 4, is the adult onset SMA; symptoms typically appear after the age of 35, and this type is less common than the others. Diagnosing SMA is primarily done by a blood test, which then is searched for the absence of the SMN1 gene. Symptoms vary from each type and patient.(1) Common symptoms are muscle weakness, poor muscle tones, weak cry, limpness extremities, difficulty swallowing or sucking, accumulations of secretions in the lungs, legs that are weaker than their arms, eating difficulties, an increase to respiratory infections, and developmental milestones such as lifting the head or sitting up. A majority of children are unable to breath unassisted due to muscle weakness in the diaphragm. (3)

            There is no current cure or treatment for SMA, since it involves mutated genes. Today's medical care can help patients with respiratory, nutritional, and rehabilitation care; however, there is no drugs that can alter the course of SMA.  There are many researchers studying gene replacement that are currently being tested in animals.


A recent patient of mine has had her story of SMA spread throughout the community. Her name is Courtney Rosas, and has unfortunately been affected by SMA Type 1. Courtney's story is as follows. At 6 weeks old, her grandmother noticed a decrease in her legs, and wasn't trying to raise her head or push up with her arms anymore. At the 2-month pediatrician check up, the doctor said Courtney was just a lazy baby. At the 4-month check up, a different doctor examined Courtney and Courtney had started to lose her milestones by now; she wasn't trying to do things that babies would do. They were sent to a neurologist to have her examined, and where Courtney's family would find out terrible news about the possibility of SMA, after DNA and blood testing was performed. Once the results came back, it turned out both of Courtney's parents were carriers, and Courtney would not be able to live to her 2nd birthday. Courtney had to receive a tracheostomy because of her severe secretions, and a feeding tube in place. Courtney stopped breathing several occasions and was getting more susceptible to respiratory infections, and was placed on a ventilator to breathe. Courtney and her family have lived many weeks on several occasions in hospital rooms. Little Courtney has not let SMA slow her down, she is very active and a very bright little girl. She recently turned five years old against her original doctors prognosis. Her story can be found at



1.    Understanding Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Authors: Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

2.    SMA Inheritance. Authors: Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

3.    Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Wikipedia.

4.    Courtney Rosas personal website, authored by her grandmother.



Princess Courtney on TV!
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Fundraiser shines a light on local princess


Young Girl Outlives Doctor's Expectations
Needs Help to Overcome Rare Disease

Created: Sunday, 13 Apr 2008, 4:14 PM CDT

One young girl from Pasadena has celebrated her fifth birthday, despite early expectations from physicians that she would not likely live past the age of 2.

Courtney Rosas was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy before her first birthday. The condition does not allow the girl to sit, stand, move horizontally, speak, swallow or breathe without assistance.

Rosas' family organized the Courtney's Fifth Miracle Birthday Celebration, that took place Sunday at the Austin Ballroom on Spencer Highway in Pasadena. The party, which was open to the public, also served as a fundraiser for Courtney.

Funds raised by the event and donations made to a web site built for Rosas go toward renovating the garage of her home in order to make it a larger room for the young girl.

To learn how to help Courtney's family build her a new room, contact Linda Rosas at 713-946-2457 or 281-795-8272 or visit
Courtney's personalized web site to learn how to contribute toward finding a cure for SMA.



Princess Courtney mentioned on page 9!
Click here to download the MS Word file!!


Click here to download the PDF file!!


Fundraiser slated for child

Courtney Brooke Rosas is not able to speak, but her grandmother Linda assures that she is a very, very happy four-year-old.

"She's always smiling, she loves to be read to and played with, she loves to watch videos with children running and singing and dancing," said Linda Rosas.

Courtney suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a terminal illness that doctors believed would claim the vibrant child before the age of two.

"We don't think about that," said Rosas. "We just live day by day: every minute with Courtney is precious."

 A barbecue in the child's honor is scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in order to assist the family with mounting medical bills that have accumulated from the need for 24-hour care for Courtney.

"She's pretty much bed-ridden," said Rosas.

"She gets up in her stroller sometimes, but she can't really go out during the winter because of her lowered immune system, and she has to be careful when she goes out in the summer because she can't be in the heat.

"My daughter and I take turns all night and all day long, because she has to be turned, she has to be fed through tubes in her stomach, we have to make sure her vent's working right. We sleep for four hours at a time and we've adapted to it. It's better that one of us is always awake."

Courtney has Type 1 SMA, the most severe form of the disease. SMA is a fatal disease that destroys the nerves controlling voluntary muscle movement, which affects crawling, walking, head and neck control and even swallowing. Courtney cannot breathe on her own, therefore depends on a ventilator for survival. Due to the severity of her health, Courtney requires around the clock care and is often hospitalized.

"It hasn't affected her mind though," said Rosas. "She is home schooled and a teacher is working with her on ways to communicate, she can hear and see just fine. The disease has not affected her thinking capacity. In that (respect) she's just like any other four-year-old. You can hold pictures in front of her and ask questions and she'll look at the right one, she can move her hands a little."

The barbecue, organized by former coach Larry Mora and Barry Boggs, will be held from three different locations.

Wednesday will be a day that volunteers will come out and delivered to businesses. Thursday, the event will be held in the South Houston High School parking lot on Shaver and Edgebrook, and Friday, orders will be taken at the Shell gas station on Beltway 8 and Fairmont Parkway. To place orders on Wednesday for deliver, call 281-615-7062.

Barbecue plates will be sold for $6 each, barbecue sandwiches will be sold for $3 each and the group will be out from 9 a.m. until 4 that afternoon.

"Larry Mora and Barry Boggs have been so busy preparing this event. They know what a financial strain it's put on our family, and there have just be so, so many people in the community and people volunteering to help. It's just been amazing to see everyone come together like this. It really shows how caring people in the community can be," said Rosas.

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