One mother’s story:
“My daughter Hadley is simply amazing. Her heart is kind & loving. Her mind is bright & sharp. Her soul is pure & sweet. She loves everyone she meets & I swear that she just connects with people’s souls in an instant…. ask anyone.
She is the definition of perseverance.
She has never let her “disability” stand in her way.
Hadley is paralyzed from the waist down due to being born with Spina Bifida. She lives a very healthy & happy life. She plays with her friends (she has more friends than I can even count, of all ages.). She plays t-ball. She dances at a studio here in Liberty. She enjoys swimming. She is learning to read. She stops to smell every flower we pass.

Hadley is the very best big sister to her little sister. She LOVES school and thrives in the school setting. She lives a very “normal” and happy life. This may seem like a blessing to some people because of her disability, but to us, she lives a happy & “normal” life because she is a happy & “normal” girl.
I don’t really love the word “normal.” I prefer “different,” because in reality we are all different in our very own ways and that’s what makes us all who we are. What I am trying to get at is that she is just like everyone else because she is a person who loves, and likes to play, and learn. She deserves all of the respect and opportunities the rest of the world does. She’s amazing.

Hadley uses a stander now, but she has had for the past 5 years!! Five years is a long time for a growing child to have a piece of equipment. Her current stander has been too small for her for a couple of years now, it is probably more hurtful than helpful for her to use it. She mainly uses this stander at school to do certain activities whether it be in the classroom, at P.E., out on recess, or just taking a stroll down the hall. It gives her more freedom by being able to stand instead of sitting her wheelchair.
A prone stander helps with strong bone growth and to give her bottom and legs a rest from sitting & it keeps pressure sores from appearing. It allows her to be at the same height as her peers (good for self-esteem). She also can do different tasks in her stander vs. her wheelchair.

She also uses it at home, particularly for chores at home because she can reach the top of the table and counters in her stander. And light switches, something we probably don’t even realize that we are flicking one on or off when we do it. The other day, Hadley was in her stander, and all I could see was her bedroom light going on and off, on and off, over and over again. I ask her what she is doing, and she says with so much excitement in her voice, ‘Mom, I’m turning my light on and off!! I’m doing it, and I didn’t even have to ask you for help!!!’ Something so little and mundane to everyone else, was utterly life-altering and exciting to her. It’s all about perspective.

Being able to stand without having the actual ability to stand is just MAGIC. And it truly changes her life!’

Thank you Hadley’s Mom! You’ve given us such a personal look at Hadley’s life and her tremendous love of living it! Variety KC partners are getting Hadley a new stander so she can keep on reaching for the light switch and reaching for the stars! Help us to help other kids like Hadley – give today at varietykc.org.