Kylie Gotzfried “Everyday Hero”
I would like to nominate my granddaughter, Kylie Gotzfried, to be recognized as my everyday hero.
Kylie is my only granddaughter and she is 4 months younger than my Alyssa. Kylie and Alyssa are more like sisters than Aunt and Niece. Kylie spends a lot of time with us and has always been someone that “Lyssa” can look up to, learn from and also be a great friend to Alyssa. Because she is with us so much, Kylie has learned to understand Alyssa, her abilities, and how to help her with her issues. Kylie is a very loving and caring young woman.
Alyssa had open heart surgery at 10 weeks of age and is a member of the “Ticker Club” at Children’s Hospital in Detroit. Kylie Gotzfried has also gone with us to numerous events held by the Ticker Club. Recently, she submitted an essay to the Kiwanis Club about the Ticker Club and Kylie won a $50 award that she presented to Children’s Hospital.
Kylie also had an assignment at school to write about what she wanted to accomplish in her last weeks of school. She wrote that she wanted kids to look past Alyssa’s disability in the hopes that they would understand her better. Her teacher asked her if she’d like to make a presentation to her classmates (about 120 kids) about Alyssa and Kylie agreed. Kylie did so well at her presentation that even the teachers had tears in their eyes. I will add here that Alyssa does not attend the same school.
The fact that Kylie wants people to look past Alyssa’s disabilities and see what she can do, makes me one proud grandmother. The fact that Kylie knows Alyssa is a person who has feelings and just wants to belong and have friends like everyone else is remarkable…. that she wants to help educate her friends to understand the misconceptions that most people have about kids with disabilities, is even more remarkable.
I love you Kylie!
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This post originally appeared on our September/October 2010 Magazine