There’s a champion right here in KELOLAND. No, it’s not Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, or Usain Bolt. Four-year-old Avery is a champion who is making a difference and showing other families how to come in first place no matter how they’re able to run the race.
Even though her parents are always there to give Avery a push in the right direction, don’t be fooled.
“She likes to do things on her own. If you try to help her with something she knows how to do, she’s going to tell you know,” Mindy said.
The little girl is kind of a big deal.
“Avery thinks she’s a pretty big superstar,” Mindy Hill said. “She likes being seen out in public and you know, sharing, you know who she is and what she loves to do.”
So, I decided to ask Avery about her favorite hobbies to get to know her. You know, to prove to you that stars are just like us.
“I like coloring and drawing and making stuff out of play dough. That’s the most thing people like to do,” Avery said.
If you’re wondering why Avery is a local celebrity, it’s because she’s a Children’s Miracle Network champion. That means she’s an ambassador for CMN and is an advocate for the cause.
“She’s always open to kind of sharing her story and it’s fun to see her really embrace that part of this journey,” Mindy said.
As wonderful as they were, Avery’s journey didn’t begin with her first steps. A long road was ahead for the family when Avery was born 11 weeks premature, and had two brain bleeds. In all, Avery spent more than two months in the Sanford NICU. When we met her last year, her mom told us about the uncertainty the family faced.
“You feel so in control when they’re inside and you feel like you can kind of take care of them. When they come out, you have to allow this other team of people to kind of do all the work,” Mindy said in 2018.
A year later, doctors diagnosed Avery with Cerebral Palsy. Fast forward to now, and Avery’s mom says nothing slows down her little girl.
“I try to instill in Avery the fact she may look a little bit different, she may move a little bit differently than other kids, but that she’s still just a kid like everybody else,” Mindy said.
The Hills are glad to have the chance to get to know people and use the CMN platform to spread awareness about cerebral palsy. One of the goals is to show other families, thanks to CMN’s support, they’re not alone in their journeys.
“To what it means to hang out with a kid who maybe doesn’t have the same abilities you do and just being kind and saying hello and getting to know them and asking the questions you want to ask,” Mindy said.
Avery: “I like to play in the park.”
Mindy: “You like playing in the park? What’s your favorite thing in the park?”
Avery: “The slides and the swings.”
CMN champions like Avery are important, because knowing them and their stories may help push us all in the right direction.
“No matter what she can or cannot do, it doesn’t make her any less of a kid than anybody else and just knowing the things she can do are so much more important than the things she can’t,” Mindy said.