Alli Wilsbacher spent her childhood singing and dancing. But at age 10 she began to suffer from a series of painful urinary tract infections. As a fifth grader her symptoms made going to school “embarrassing and not enjoyable.”
When the issue did not subside with the regular treatments offered from Alli’s local pediatrician and a pelvic floor therapist, she was referred to Riley Children’s Services at Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Evansville.
The Wilsbachers credit Riley Pediatric Urologist Richard C. Rink and urology nurse practitioner Shelly King with changing their daughter’s life. They quickly diagnosed Alli with dysfunctional voiding—a condition where the urethra functions improperly and muscles in the bladder and pelvic floor don’t work well together.
Alli felt overcome with relief that someone was able to name what was wrong. Her parents, Amy and Troy, knew their daughter was in good hands: Riley’s urology program consistently ranks within the top five in the country.
Today, after seven years of outpatient procedures and therapy visits, Alli can manage her condition. King has provided Alli with helpful exercises and techniques, but she attributes Alli’s progress to her own hard work and commitment. King recalls, “Alli really embraced the problem and the solution. She worked very hard to get better, and that makes her a Riley Champion in my book!”
The Wilsbacher family will be forever grateful for the support Alli received in navigating such a sensitive issue. Once shy and uncomfortable talking about her condition, Alli now laughs about it with frankness and poise beyond her 16 years. “Now I know how to live with it,” she says.
Alli loves to give back to Riley. She shared her story at the 2016 WIKY Riley Radiothon, and let her talent shine while singing the National Anthem at high-profile Riley events: Riley Night with the Evansville Otters baseball team, and Miracle Ride, Indiana’s largest and longest-running motorcycle charity event. Alli is most excited about being a Riley Champion so she can “help sick kids like me who need Riley’s expertise.”