PARKERSBURG - A local 8-year-old girl was named West Virginia State Inspirational Queen for helping other children in hospitals deal with the stress of their stays.
Izabella Bosley, 8, of Parkersburg seems like a normal child, playing with her dolls, watching Disney movies and swimming on hot summer days. But this year's W.Va. State Inspirational Queen performs her duties of assisting others from a custom-painted motorized purple wheelchair with the Disney princess Bella painted on the back.
Bosley, daughter of Danielle Renfro and Mike Bosley, has spina bifida, hydrocephalus, chiari malformation, chronic kidney failure and scoliosis.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Izabella Bosley, 8, of Parkersburg has been crowned this year’s West Virginia State Inspirational Queen for her wonderful attitude and her desire to help other children she encounters on her monthly trips to doctors appointments and hospitals in Columbus, Ohio.
"Despite all of the disabilities that she has, she doesn't let them stop her from doing anything," Renfro said. "She is a very independent little girl, very happy, and loves helping people," she said.
Bosley wanted to be part of pageants, as well as to participate in other normal activities, Renfro said.
"She wouldn't do as well as other girls in normal pageant settings because she can't walk and twirl and speak as clearly as the other girls," Renfro said.
When they discovered the Inspirational Queen pageant, they knew they had to enter, Renfro said.
Bosley has spent much of her eight years in the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Renfro said. She understands how hospital stays can be stressful to other families, and likes to see that the other children in the hospital have toys to entertain themselves with and ways to pass the time.
Bosley likes to talk to the other children in waiting rooms at doctor's offices, Renfro said.
"Everyone who meets her falls in love with her," Renfro said.
To enter the Inspirational Queen pageant, Renfro wrote down Bosley's story and submitted it to the contest. The story told of Bosley's bravery in the face of nine surgeries, multiple hospital stays, monthly treks to Columbus for doctor visits, her happy attitude, and the plan to help other families at the hospital through the charity the family created called Driving for Bella.
Driving for Bella is on Facebook and on Gofundme, Renfro said. Volunteers collect donations of coloring books, crayons, markers, puzzles, toys, and movies for children who are in Nationwide Children's Hospital.
The family takes the donations with them when they travel to Columbus for their monthly all-day doctors appointments, Renfro said.
Driving for Bella also collects monetary donations which it uses to purchase gas cards, restaurant gift cards, and meals for families at the hospital, Renfro said.
"Most families are like us when we have to stay in the hospital. We won't leave Bella's side," Renfro said. "We order out with restaurants who deliver and it can get expensive. We are trying to help other families deal with this cost," she said.
The cost of a tray of food for a family member at Nationwide Children's Hospital is almost $6, Renfro said.
"People think that the families get the food for free when they bring one to the child, but they don't," Renfro said.
Driving for Bella plans to set up an account with the children's hospital to accept donations to pay for these trays directly.
Anyone wishing to donate to Driving for Bella to help other families that Bosley encounters may get in contact with one of the volunteers on the Driving for Bella Facebook or Gofundme pages.
Bosley will be entering the contest for National Inspirational Queen at the Great Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati in July, Renfro said. Each of the state winners are invited to the national competition, and Bosley plans to attend.
But in the meantime, Bosley will continue giving support to other children in need at the hospital by sharing her love of coloring and Disney movies with everyone she meets.