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20 years old
Ripley, Tennessee

McKaela was diagnosed with Syngap Jan. 28th.  She was diagnosed with Absence Seizures in 2009, but she does not have a formal Epilepsy diagnosis yet.  She is 20 years old, and lives in Ripley, TN.

McKaela likes to go swimming, camping, to the zoo, and to Lowes.  Her favorite places to eat are McDonalds and Pizza Hut, although she will eat ice cream and cake from anywhere.  She spends her free time watching YouTube, playing Roblox or puzzle and coloring games on her tablet.She participated in the Special Olympics when she was in school, and is a part of a local Special Needs Athletics team.  She’s also a high school graduate. Her biggest struggles are with communication, behaviors, and sleep.

What I want people to know the most about her is that she was born a warrior.  When I was pregnant with her, I was told to abort her.  She had a twin that died in utero, she had a complicated delivery, she has been developmentally delayed since she birth, she’s been diagnosed with Autism/an Intellectual Disability/Absence Seizures and most recently Syngap, but she has persevered in the face of adversity, and still manages to smile through it all.  She’s the reason why we have hope, and why we will never stop fighting with her for services, inclusion, treatment, and a cure.

McKaela’s mom Heather’s profile is available here.

McKaela’s sister Plum wrote a touching blog for her sister.