COLUMBUS, Neb. – Columbus teen Kylie Yates has struggled for some time on doing the things that ‘normal people’ do.
“Kylie cannot speak, she cannot walk, but when she smiles she brightens up the whole room,” says Kylie’s mom Pam Yates.
The 15-year-old freshman at Columbus High was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy when she was born, due to complications during her birth.
“She lost 50 percent of her blood, that is why she has disabilities,” says Pam Yates.
Despite all that, Yates craved to get involved and be included, to do something in public that is fun.
That’s when Ainsley’s Angels came in.
Ainsley’s Angels, which helps to build awareness of people with special needs throughout every community in the US, will often assist disabled runners in running races.
The Yates family applied two years ago and it took quite a while to receive any news.
But, just two weeks before the Good Life Halfsy was set to begin in Lincoln, her mother got a call that said Yates was in the race and would be pushed to the finish line by a volunteer with Ainsley’s Angels.
The half-marathon went very well.
“She was smiling, people along the whole route were yelling, cheering for them, she felt like ‘hey I am important, that this is something I like to do,” says Pam Yates.
The event went so smoothly that they are hoping to run similar races in the future, some even outside Nebraska.