OMAHA, Neb. — Ally Winter has been in Omaha for about a month after receiving care at Nebraska Medicine.
The 17-year-old from Tennessee has battled chronic, rare illnesses most of her life.
"When I was four, I got short bowel syndrome from a volvulus in my intestines," she said.
She started crocheting as a child, but she became more passionate about it a few years ago and started crocheting daily.
"I do it all the time, and it helps my mental health, and it's like therapy," she said. "It gave me something to look forward to because I can't work like a normal job, but this I can do, I can rest and still crochet and post things and sell things."
She has an Etsy page where she sells creations and takes orders.
Winter is passionate about raising awareness about rare diseases and chronic illnesses.
She has an Instagram page dedicated to it.
She creates crocheted stuffed animals that show how a person might look after a certain medical procedure and even crochets body parts to teach people, especially kids, about conditions and procedures.
"I thought that would be nice to see, and you could teach little kids about it," she said about a zebra she made with a colostomy bag.
Winter is currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Omaha, which she said has been a wonderful place. She hopes to return home to Tennessee soon.