NEW YORK — A local woman with cerebral palsy is putting a fresh twist on the classic stick figure family decal. Suzy Hines, 25, loves the decal rendering of herself, her parents and her sister displayed on the rear window of her wildly overpriced accessible van. But with a new bundle of joy in the family, she knew it needed an update.
After two years of coexisting with a stubborn pressure sore on her foot, Hines and her parents agreed that it was time to embrace the surprise visitor, whom Hines’s mom, Hannah, now considers “a third daughter.”
Said Hines, “This sore has been here for so long that at this point she’s basically family — the little sister I never had. My friends, my relatives, my physical therapist … they ask about her constantly, so we may as well call her one of us.” Hines noted that the unique addition to their stick figure family turned some heads in the neighborhood, but she urged local parents to talk to their children about different family structures.
“Awareness is key,” said Hines’s father, Steve. “Some families have a dog; some have that one weird uncle. We happen to have a pressure sore that really made herself at home. Different is beautiful, you know?”
The sore — whose nickname, Lexi, is a nod to Mepilex wound dressings — arrived shortly after the untimely death of the family’s goldfish, Marvin. Hines noted that Marvin’s passing had left an awkward void in their group of stick figures. Older sister Gretchen concurred, adding, “After we peeled Marvin’s decal off the van window because he was, you know, dead, our stick figure family just looked … incomplete. I thought we might get a hamster or something, but with Lexi here to stay, including her in the lineup just felt right.”
Hines shared that while they often face uncomfortable stares when onlookers pass their car, others have been supportive, including her classmates, who plan to include a photo of the loyal pressure sore in the yearbook. “It’s not that different from the school including a picture of a student’s service dog,” Hines insisted. “Same idea. Cuter, even.”
She marveled at how much Lexi has grown: “It seems like just yesterday she was a tiny stage one sore.”