Hi Everyone!! As most of you know I started up the “Little Leaders” series last year to shed some light on the little shining stars in our communities and so far it’s been amazing to see the positive response come in from everyone in support of these uplifting blogs and the number of emails that we’ve received sharing stories of Little Leaders in YOUR communities!! Our goal for 2018 (along with many others!) is to keep sharing these incredible stories coming because I am SO proud of all the kids out there who are doing SO much good and I believe they deserve to be recognized!! I want them to know THAT WE ARE SEEING WHAT THEY ARE DOING and we LOVE THEM! Kudos to the moms, dads and support system these kids have in order to live with such compassion and empathy! The point of this monthly feature is to spotlight these special little leaders and help them with their efforts and hope to encourage other kids, youth, and families to follow suit!
So without further adieu, our “LITTLE LEADER” for the month of May is … MYLAH BOND!
Mylah’s mother reached out and graciously shared her daughter’s story with us and we quickly realized that this is one amazing (and strong!) young lady … and she’s LOCAL!! That’s right, Mylah lives right here in Kelowna and she recently celebrated her 8th birthday. Mylah has been diagnosed with IBD but she doesn’t let that get her down as she continues to share her inspiring story with others and bring awareness to IBD through her fundraising efforts! I’m going to let Mylah’s mother take it from her, and share more of Mylah’s story with you!
When Mylah was 6 she started getting really sick. By her 7th birthday, she had lost about 40% of her weight, much of her hair and was unable to attend school, dance or other fun events. After a couple extended stays at the Kelowna hospital, Mylah was transferred to BC Children’s for another extended stay. Upon being admitted to BC Children’s her medical team performed several diagnostic tests and confirmed Mylah’s diagnosis of IBD; Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic disease for which there is no known cure. While rates of IBD in children under 10 has doubled since 1995, researchers continue to provide options to improve the lives of both adults and children who suffer from these diseases. Raising awareness of IBD and funds for medical and lifestyle improvements is a high priority for Mylah.
Recently, as a direct result of Mylah’s shining spirit, a group of local musicians joined together to perform a ‘Crohn-cert’ fundraising evening. Mylah helped host the night which raised just under $2000 for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
In addition to this amazing testament to her, she has also been asked to be the Honorary Chair for the 2018 Kelowna Gutsy Walk on June 3rd. Her fundraising efforts have continued and so far has raised over $2500 for her Gutsy Walk team! Mylah continues to share her story, using her journey to help benefit countless others. Mylah even allowed her story to be shared with the Mayor of Kelowna, inviting the City of Kelowna to join World IBD Day on May 19th. Now, alongside major cities and landmarks across the globe, Kelowna will light the Sails downtown in purple to raise awareness and show support.
Mylah is a strong girl who shows courage and strength through an unbelievably hard diagnosis. She continues to visit BC Children’s Hospital regularly for treatments. Her willingness to stand up and share about an often silent and private disease is an inspiration to many and encourages others to speak out and not be ashamed.
We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing Mylah’s story and hope she has inspired you as much as she has inspired US!! In support of Mylah’s journey, Team Jilly has donated $250 to her Gutsy Walk team page in hopes to get her closer to her fundraising goal of $3000!! If you wish to help out, please check out her fundraising page here!
Also, please take a look at the video Mylah made while she was at BC Children’s hospital! We want to send a HUGE THANK YOU out to all of the staff at BC Children’s Hospital who make these experiences comfortable for all of the amazing children out there. We appreciate your hard work more than you know!
If YOU know of a Little Leader in YOUR community, make sure to send us an email along with photos to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject LITTLE LEADER.