REAL PEOPLE: North Powder girl doesn’t let obstacle define her

By Paul Harder, The Observer January 13, 2014 10:27 am

Adelynn Klundby of North Powder, right, participated in basketball for the first time this season. (Courtesy photo)
Adelynn Klundby of North Powder, right, participated in basketball for the first time this season. (Courtesy photo)
NORTH POWDER — Children are amazingly resilient, able to overcome difficult obstacles and thrive. 

That sums up the story of 9-year-old Adelynn Klundby of North Powder. 

Klundby does everything you would expect a child her age to do — dancing, hanging out with friends and playing sports. She loves sports.

What sets her apart is an obstacle that adults see, but is just a part of life for her. Klundby was born without a femur bone in her right leg and doctors ended up amputating the leg when she was 18 months old.

“It was a surreal moment,” Klundby’s mother, Casey Townsend, said. “It was devastating at first. You read in the pregnancy books about the possibility of birth deformities, but you never think it’s going to be your child. 

“Now, it’s no big deal, it’s who she is.” 

Townsend got a glimpse at how her daughter was going to take this obstacle when they returned home from her first surgery.

Two days after losing her leg, Klundby was up and walking around on the stump that was left.

“She recoups really well,” Townsend said. “I don’t know how she does it sometimes.” 

Klundby is as energetic as they come, and fearless.

She participated in basketball for the first time this season. Klundby also enjoys playing softball and loves her dance class.

“It’s fun,” Klundby said. “Basketball is my favorite because I get to run more.”

She is just like any other child her age trying to learn the fundamentals of the sports she plays. 

Her stepfather, Dan Townsend, said it’s a great sight to see her doing all the things any other child her age would be doing.

“It’s great to be able to watch her doing whatever activity she’s participating in,” Townsend said. “Sports is just part of what our family does, and it’s just a way of life for her. It helps that she enjoys being active, and she’s so competitive.

“She’s a little timid at times, just because she needs to take things a little slower. I think once she gets the right prosthetic for basketball she’ll be keeping up with everyone.”

There’s just one thing that makes her a little uneasy. The trips to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Portland. Surgeries and checkups have become part of the routine. Klundby has had a total of four surgeries. 

“She has a way about her,” Dan Townsend said. “Addy acts way older than her age about needing to go see the doctor. Sometimes it’s two times a month we’re over there. Sometimes it’s once a year. Somehow, she pulls through it all with a smile.”

Klundby said it’s her mom and dad that help her through the trips to the doctor.

“They talk me through it,” she said. “They always say something that makes it all better.”

But even being in a body cast can’t slow her down. She participated in dance this season while in a half-body cast in January of last year. 

“It’s really just become a way of life,” Casey Townsend said. “But instead of tripping over her toys, we’re tripping over her prosthetic legs.”

If you saw Klundby walking around town and didn’t know about her obstacle, you’d never know what she has and is still overcoming. And, that’s the way she wants it.

“Addy doesn’t admit to ever having a disability,” Dan Townsend said. “She’s just a 9-year-old girl that loves life and has a strong desire to just be Addy.”