Reporting Aristea Brady
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The help of a stranger is bringing a 2-year-old girl with cerebral palsy closer to one day walking.
That stranger is 17-year-old named Allie Kanyetzny, a high school girl with a very big heart.
Lila’s mother is still in disbelief. A long time ago, she’d given up on the fairy tale that wishes were granted when a perfect stranger just appeared.
Then four months ago Kanyetzny walked in.
Lila has cerebral palsy affecting the signal from her brain to her muscles. While 2-year-old Lila has her hurdles, they don’t stop her.
Kanyetzny learned about Lila through her aunt, and immediately decided to make her the recipient of this year’s “Allie’s Wish.”
“I started it when I was 10, around my birthday with my mom,” Kanyetzny said. “I was like ‘I don’t want anything, Mom.’”
Instead of receiving gifts at 10, she decided to give, and she’s been giving ever since.
From feeding the homeless, to charity drives for children in the hospital — Kanyetzny spends upwards of 20 hours a week helping others.
So far, with the help of donations and even a full-blown benefit concert, Kanyetzny’s collected $1,620 for Lila.
Money that goes to a priceless cause. Lila attends weekly hippotherapy sessions with her pony, Lily.
Occupational therapist Janet Weisberg encourages Lila to use her right arm, where her muscles are particularly stiff.
“If I were working with her in a clinic, it would be much, much harder to get her to do some of these things,” Weisberg said.
And the therapy is working. Lila’s first two words together were spoken on a horse, and she can now sit independently.
“She’s just this amazing girl,” Kanyetzny said. “People may say that I’ve given so much to her, but really, she’s given so much to me. She’s given me a different look on life — to not take the small things for granted.”
Thanks to Kanyetzny’s wish, Lila is another step closer to one day walking.
“Even though I have tears in my eyes right now, they really are happy tears,” Lila’s mother said. “Because I’m so darn proud of my kid. And I just know that she can do anything she wants to, and I don’t think I have had so much fulfillment and happiness in my life since having Lila.”
Kanyetzny says she wants to major in pre-med and work in pediatrics. She hopes to then continue “Allie’s Wish” by setting up clinics around the world.
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