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Memorial created 04-5-2007 by
karen hinds
Christina Ann Hinds
June 30 1985 - March 18 2007

Weakened by disease, dreaming of a cruise The Saginaw News Christina A. Hinds knows scleroderma likely will claim her life before her 25th birthday, so she lives one day at a time... except when she's dreaming of the perfect vacation. The 21-year-old Carrollton High School graduate has a disease that causes thickening, hardening or tightening of the skin, blood vessels and internal organs. She was 11 when doctors determined she had the disease. In September they told Herron there was nothing else they could do and said she would live another few months. When I first found out, I was alone. I called my mom and was crying hysterically, Hinds said. Hinds mother, Karen K. Hinds, reminded her daughter it was only one opinion. Doctors at the U of M in Ann Arbor said she could live for two months, two years or seven years. Hinds and her husband, Glenn have tried to give Herron what she wanted most in life. The doctors said live life to the fullest, and that's what we are trying to do for her, Hinds said. In September she received a Yorkshire Terrier, which she named Bella. She also wants her step father to adopt her. Karen Hinds said the Carrollton Township family has filed the paperwork to do that and is waiting to hear from court officials. Her third wish is to take a family vacation on a Disney cruise sometime in March or April. Employees in the the education department at St. Mary's of Michigan hospital in Saginaw want to make it happen sooner. They aren't sure how much the trip will cost but say they want to raise enough money to send at least christina and her mom. Christina cant get out to volunteer anymore, so were just trying to something for her, Sherry D. Trier, an education assistant at the hospital. It might not happen, but maybe it will. The plan was to get at least two plane tickets. The rest of the family was going to drive there. The point is to be able to get christina there. Trier organized a soft drink can drive with education department secretary Angel A. Garcia The drive ends friday. The pair also organized a lunch and bake sale for christina from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in the lobby of the hospital, 800 S Washington. At 11 a.m. organizers will sell hot dogs. She was always talking about going on a Disney cruise, said Garcia, a student at Northwood University's Saginaw campus, She always talked like nothing was wrong, but then she started calling in sick more and more. christina and angel became friends while at work, sharing gossip about celebrities and talking about school and their plans for the future. She is a very positive person, Garcia said., I dont know what i would do if i were in her shoes. I dont know if I could be as strong as she is. Christina is to weak to climb the stairs to her second-floor bedroom in the family's home. She sleeps in an hospital bed in the living room. Some days, she can't put on her clothes or take her medication by herself. Christina said she has good and bad days. On the bad days I lie in bed all day, and On the good days I feel like I can run a marathon.


Well-wishers chip in to help ailing woman. The Saginaw News A small fundraiser to send Christina a Hinds and her family on a Disney cruise exploded into a communitywide effort that the Carrollton High School graduate says she never expected. It's just starting to sink in, said christina, who has a rare disease that in her case is terminal. I thought maybe 30-40 people would show up. There were way more. I didnt think it'd be so many people. Sherry D. Trier education assistant at St. Mary's of Michigan hospital, said the hospital does not want to disclose the amount of money generated at the lunch and bake sale Thursday but she says it's enough to send christina and her family on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. Christina; her parents Karen and Glenn Hinds; and her siblings-Megan Herron 15; Zachary Hinds 9;Kaitlyn Hinds 7; will go in Mid-march. It really means the world to me that I can go on this trip with my family, christina said. The 21 year old has Scleroderma, a disease that causes thickening, hardening or tightening of the skin, blood vessels and internal organs. She was 11 when doctors determined she had the disease. Trier said she is not sure how many people came to the lunch but says the hospital sold close to 600 hot dogs. And I know there were some 50.00 hot dogs bought, she added. In September doctors told christina there was nothing else they could do and said she would live two more months. The hospital still is getting calls from people who want to help-so many that Karen Hinds has set up the Christina A Herron Foundation at TCF Bank, 4850 Bay in Saginaw. When it started, it felt like such a small thing, Trier said Then different people got involved, and it just got bigger. It was everything and everyone together that made it all come together.


Failing body cant hold out for last wish to come true. A Carrollton Township woman with a big heart and little time to live spent her final days grasping for one final wish-a disney cruise. Christina A. Hinds a 21 year old who suffered from a rare diease that causes thickening, hardening or tightening of the skin, blood vessels and internal organs- nearly fulfilled that dream despite a failing body, her father said. She died about 3:30 a.m. Sunday in an Orlando, Fla., hospital. Christina and her family went to the resort town planning to start an 3 day Disney cruise to Bahamas last thursday. Glenn A Hinds said her condition was deteriorating before the family stepped aboard a plane destined for Orlando on March 12. Some people thought we were nuts because she was doing so poorly, said Hinds a 38 year old truck driver from Carrollton Township, but she was so adamant. Her jaw was set. She was like, Dont take this away from me. In September, they told christina there was nothing more they could do and said she would live another two months. St. Marys of Michigan hospital hosted fundraisers to pay for the cruise for christina, who volunteered at the Saginaw hospital until November. WKCQ-FM 98.1 asked listeners to contribute too. Glenn said his daughter got to view some of Orlando from an rental van. Disney officals donated tickets to the family for admission to Disney World, but by March 13, christina's pain was to severe to continue the tour. From their hotel, the family called an ambulance, which took her to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital. Once there, christina experienced an mix of high and lows. She was unconscious for several days but was wide awake when a group of cartoon charactors-Scooby Doo, Curious George and Woody and Wendy pecker among them visited her bedside. The next day, Sea World's Shamu character also paid a visit. Christina had hopes of making a trip to the sea-themed park to pet a dolphin, but doctors told her she wasn't up to it. By then, Glenn said family members knew the end was near. Christina a Carrollton High School guaduate, insisted they continue their Orlando vacation as planned even if she couldn't make the trip with them, Hinds said. She was more worried about us, he said, She kept saying You guys should be able to do this, but we told her we werent leaving her. The whole trip was about being with her, so that's where we belonged. Christina's mother, Karen K. Hinds 39; sister, Megan 15; brother Zachary 9; sister Kaitlyn 7, all attended the trip. Once christina was hospitalized , they stayed in a hospital-operated hotel room one floor below her room. Glenn said family members kissed her on the forehead and told her I love you before leaving her room each night. Christina mother was with her when she died. The family plans to filfull her final wishes even after her death. Disney official told him they would allow the family to attend an cruise for free when they are ready. He is not sure when they will make the trip. It will be in tribute to her, he said. She also wanted to fulfill a few goals of her own after her death. Hinds said kaitlyn asked christina to look after zoey the family's yorkie who died last year, in heaven. In return, kaitlyn promised to help care for bella, the yorkshire terrier she got as one of her wishes. Christina also asked her family to donate her wheelchair to her Freeland-based doctor, Thad Rathkamp, for his patients. He had let her use his office wheelchair and she didnt like it very well. Christina who eventually got her own wheelchair, she told family members After I die, I want you to take this to his office because he's done so much for me. The family plans to continue fighting the disease by donating money to the Scleroderma Foundation. Theres no financial gain for drug companies to find a cure for it, so the fundraising is so vital, glenn said; We dont want any other parents to go through what we've had to go through.


The tattoo on Karen K. Hinds' leg is a heart surrounded by dragonflies and flowers, and it holds the name of her daughter, Christina, ''in loving memory.'' Ink on skin is one way family members are remembering Christina A. (Herron) Hinds of Carrollton Township, who died in March at 21 after years of fighting scleroderma systemic diffuse, a disease that causes thickening, hardening or tightening of the skin, blood vessels and internal organs. When The Saginaw News last talked to her stepfather, Glenn A. Hinds, 39, in March, he vowed to continue to help seek a cure for the disease which can prove fatal in serious cases such as his daughter's. Doctors diagnosed her when she was 11. The family, including her three siblings, wore T-shirts bearing her face and raised $1,500 during the annual Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter walk and run in June in Birmingham. ''Christina always did the walk with us until the last year, when she was too sick,'' Glenn Hinds said. ''If we don't raise money, the drug companies won't do the research.'' The autoimmune disease afflicts three of every 100,000 people and always is disfiguring if not debilitating and deadly, he said. Karen Hinds' aunt also died of the illness, as did a great-grandfather, he said. Karen Hinds, 40, continues to speak about her daughter through postings on the www.virtual-memorials.com Web site. One reads: ''My daughter, best friend and my hero, honey you fought the good fight and now you can rest, we will continue with the fight.'' The family also donated her wheelchair to her Freeland-based doctor, Thad Rathkamp, for his patients, and gave her power chair to another woman with scleroderma. She died this summer, but the foundation will pass it on, Glenn Hinds said. The family did not decorate for the holidays. Instead, they hung a wreath with a black bow, he said. ''We are in mourning. For Thanksgiving, we lit a candle and read a letter to Christina,'' he said. ''We are making this a year to remember her.'' She died in an Orlando, Fla., hospital on her way to a three-day Disney cruise to Bahamas -- a dream trip she never got to take. St. Mary's of Michigan hospital in Saginaw hosted fundraisers to pay for the cruise for the young woman, who volunteered at the Saginaw hospital until November 2006. Disney officials donated tickets to the family for admission to Disney World and allowed them to reschedule the cruise for February, Glenn Hinds said. ''We're going to take a family picture on the boat and later put her face into it, since she will be there in spirit,'' he said. Hinds' sister, Megan K. (Herron) Hinds, 16; stepbrother, Zachary A. Hinds, 9; and stepsister, Kaitlyn R. Hinds, 8, also will take the trip. Christina Hinds wanted Glenn Hinds to legally adopt her, he said. The family never finished the paperwork to complete the adoption, but he said her headstone identifies her as Christina Hinds. He now is working to adopt Megan. The memorial Web site helps the family continue to share her life. ''We want to talk about her,'' Glenn Hinds said. ''The day she died is her angel day, when she went on to become an angel. But we still carry her in our hearts.'' Jill Armentrout covers health for The


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