Profile: Nikole Roberts
A little miracle came into the life of MSU doctoral student Nikole Roberts in December 2004 when her daughter Clara Kate was born. Not only has Clara Kate brought great joy into Nikole's life, she has given her the kind of determination, strong will, and perseverance to conquer just about anything.
Completing the coursework for her Ph.D. in spring 2011, Nikole will only lack the writing of her dissertation to earn her third degree from MSU. It's been Clara Kate, a child with Albright's hereditary osteodystrophy, who has given her mother the desire and grit to head for the finish line and achieve a doctorate in educational psychology.
Albright's, or AHO, is a rare genetic syndrome that, because of its hormone resistance, causes those who have it to typically be short in stature, lethargic, and obese. Patients like Clara Kate can have breathing and seizure disorders, and many times have difficulty learning because of the varied symptoms associated with it.
Since Clara Kate's diagnosis in 2009—after many misdiagnoses—Nikole's doctoral research has focused on the cognitive development of AHO children, since little research or facts about this uncommon condition exist. After finding what she believes to be the sole researcher on AHO in Baltimore at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Nikole will survey families there to gather the data needed for her dissertation and, ultimately, for continued discovery into AHO.
On Friday, Jan. 7, the Roberts family, who live in West Point, will appear on ABC News' Nightline to discuss the disorder and Clara Kate's amazing progress toward a better quality of life.
Next week … Anne Marshall !