Janis’ Story

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Six year old Janis enjoys life in Maine with her adoptive parents Tom and Karen Kohlmeyer.. She was born with the inability to tolerate food and ended up with a fundoplication and a G tube at the weight of just over 9 pounds. She was abandoned at the hospital but soon after embraced by a loving family. The journey was just beginning for these newly adoptive parents in their quest to find the right formulas and nourishment. Karen is a pediatric physical therapist and that “offered access to other resources others might not know about.” It’s this avenue that allowed Janis’ Mom to be so inquisitive in seeking answers to help Janis with all her feeding and bowel problems.

Once that was in place, Janis began to gain more muscle control. Even though Janis was in the care of Dr’s Korson and Buie, it was inevitable that she needed to visit Dr. Schoffner in Atlanta. It was this past summer that Janis was diagnosed with Oxidative Phosphorylation Defect of Complex I. Her mom says this was a “lonely time and frustrating…yet a relief. Now we have a name for what we are going through,” says Karen.

The greatest challenge for this family is helping Janis keep well nourished, rested and healthy. “She’s a kind, funny, musically talented, and a joy to anyone who meets her, claims her proud mom. Janis doesn’t have the stamina to make it through a school day so there is a lot of home schooling taking place with the help of a first grade teacher. Karen’s fondest wish for Janis’ future is that, “Janis learns how to keep herself as healthy as possible and recognize that she is a wonderful person who just happens to have a disease.”