A heartfelt thanks to the many of you who expressed your concern for Haylie after reading about the seizures she had over fall break. The story goes on, so stay tuned! But for now, it’s important to keep in mind that her name, Haylie Anna, means “heroine full of grace,” and she’s ever embodying it, as evidenced by the recent letter she wrote to the folks who helped us fundraise what we needed to pay for her Intensive Treatment Program for all those years. In her own words:
Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing to update you on what has been going on in my life lately. Since I last wrote to you, a lot has happened. I not only started taking college level classes for dual credit at the local community college, but I have also graduated high school and completed my first semester at Indiana University. Thank you for all the support and donations that you made. Because of my determination, me and my family’s hard work, and your support, I am going to be continuing my college education and eventually graduating with a college degree.
The fact that I graduated high school this year and am attending IU is a big deal and a big turning point in my journey. It took a lot of hard work, time, and determination to even be able to have the opportunity to go to college. Although there’s still work to be done and always opportunities to have new experiences, the fact that I graduated high school this year and am officially a college student, attending a big ten university like IU, is mind blowing. In some ways I can’t believe it’s here. I’ve hoped and worked so long and hard to have the opportunity to be able to even succeed in education, let alone college. However, I always knew that at some point I would have the ability to go to college, because that’s what my family and I wanted for me. Thank you all for your continued support and kindness that helped to make it possible for me to get well and be able go to college. It means a lot.
Now, you might be wondering what I’m going to study. Just like my journey from brain-injured to well, and how I had to be home schooled, and that’s not a typical path for people to take, this shouldn’t be a surprise to you. I want to get a college degree in nutrition science and entrepreneurship. I want to be successful working for myself, helping to lead for the greater good and something much bigger than myself. I know that I can’t give back to you in the exact same way that you gave to me. However, I want to continue the chain of giving and do what I can to make the world a better place.
Specifically, I want to work with people and help them clean up their diets and reverse, or even prevent, some of the deadly diseases that society faces today. One of the biggest parts of getting better for me was changing my diet and taking the grains, sugars and processed foods out of it. They kept me from being able to focus and remember. When I took these types of foods out, my learning became easier and faster, and it was also easier to remember material from school. For example, I want to apply this knowledge to Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to help them clean up their diets and fix their brains. I know that prevention is important, and people tell me that I’m very special, and it’s incredible what I have been able to accomplish. You know what I say to that? Thank you so much…and get ready. I’m going to keep doing remarkable things while making the world and people’s lives better.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia are simply brain injury that happens later in life. I know about that because I was brain injured. There is hope and with my splash in the world, eventually there will be treatment or even better, ways to prevent these diseases from happening in the first place. I know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work, persistence and determination, but that’s what I’m good at anyway.
Thank you again for all your support. It is greatly appreciated.
I began this blog to share pieces of the book I'm writing about my daughter's courageous march down the path from brain injury to wellness. It's the story of how one little girl overcame the odds, a long list of labels, and limiting diagnoses. I hope it inspires other parents to dream bigger by knowing what is possible.