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Lift Me Up This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By emelephant, McLean, VA

Her body shakes and her already large eyes widen. Drool dribbles from her open lips to the wet spot on her pink T-shirt, and her wrists quiver and stiffen, leaving her hands resting at an awkward angle to her unnaturally thin arms.

Leila tightens her grip on my arm ­as the seizure assails her frail frame. Seizures are not new for her. In fact, it is her illness that brings her to the horse barn every Sunday for horseback therapy.

Often when I am helping support Leila in the saddle, I contemplate how frustrating it must be for her not to be able to take off her sweatshirt when she gets hot, or ask for a tissue, or control her body during a seizure. Yet in all the years I have known Leila, I have never heard her complain. With her gentle, quiet manner and goofy smile, she makes me feel lucky to spend time with her each week.

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1 comment(s)
This is awesome! I also volunteer with kids with special needs, so I can totally relate to your experience!! As you said, what always strikes me is how unique each kid is/their distinct personalities. You did a really good job showing how this experience changed you, and I really like how honest this piece was.  
Mar. 07, 2013 at 11:10 PM • Report