Kyle Kirkwood joined the Racing For Kids team at Children’s Hospital of Michigan before the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. Check it out here.
Riley was one of the first Courageous Kids when Racing For Kids initiated the program in 2017. At the time, she was a brave little 7 year old who had overcome many medical obstacles, including 23 surgeries which had required her to use a wheelchair and later a walker. But she had a undeniable zest for life and enjoyed a host of activities including rock hunting, swimming, playing with dolls and Legos and telling jokes.
Our PR Director, Kathleen Conway, caught up with Riley recently to see how she was faring. Here are her responses:
- How are things going with you, health wise?
Right now I am doing really great! I have to have my brain scans twice a year to watch for new growth but everything was stable at my last scan! Dr. Bazzi said that I will have surgery again in a year or two on my right leg because it is not growing as fast as my left leg.
- What was life like for you and your family during the pandemic?
When the pandemic started we made sure to stay home to stay safe. My mom started a pod for our neighbors so we could learn together and still have safe friends to play with. It was nice to have friends to still be with and we knew we were safe and ok. We had to travel a few times for treatment for my Lyme Disease and it was different but we made it work! We had a great time and I got the medicine I needed to feel better. My dad still had to go to work every day and I worried about him but he was very safe and made sure to shower as soon as he got home to keep us safe. I got lots of fun masks with different prints on them. They’re so easy to wear that I forget that I have them on all the time!
- What’s new in your life now?
I just finished my 4th softball season. Our team did really well and won our first playoff game but ended up losing the second playoff game to the team that won it all. I was so glad to be able to be able to play and I made lots of new friends! I was just accepted into the OneVoice GP girls choir. I cannot wait for it to start in September! I love to ride my bike and play with my friends outside. I am going to learn how to sail this summer.
- How is school going?
I just graduated from 4th grade this year at Monteith Elementary School. Next year, I will be in 5th grade at Brownell Middle School. I am really looking forward to moving to middle school and meeting new teachers and friends.
- What are your favorite activities — in and out of school?
I love to play softball, go to the pool and go to my Grammy and Papa’s lake house on the weekends. I like to ride my bike and walk our new puppy, Rosie. I like to travel and our family’s goal is to visit all 50 states before I graduate high school!
- Anything else you’d like us to know?
We just got a new puppy and her name is Rosie. She is a Black Lab and is so cute! She has a ton of energy so we take her on lots of walks and play fetch with her.
Riley and her parents Heidi and Ryan and grandparents Sam and Alaine Bush, plan to attend Racing For Kids to the Hill – Shifting Into High Gear 2021 – on September 1. Heidi wrote us – “We absolutely love coming to this event! It’s one of Riley’s favorite days!”