LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The holiday season is a time to count your blessings. Some families you are about to meet know that all too well.
Every year the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies holds a fashion show to give children a chance to shine. This fashion show is different than others. Instead of high heels, there are wheels (on wheelchairs). And people in the audience at DuPont Manual High School are wiping away tears.
"They probably won't be able to score the winning touchdown or make the winning goal in the basketball game," said Holly Thompson, the mother of Caylee, who will be wheeled down the runway. "Today is their day to shine just for them and all the attention's focused on them,"
All of the models are the children who attend the Kids Center, where they receive speech, physical, and occupational therapies. Mallory Sims has participated in the fashion show for several years. Last year, Mallory's pediatrician told her mother, Denise Sims, that maybe next year Mallory would walk down the runway, instead of being in her wheelchair.
"I smiled politely and thought it was an unrealistic goal," said Denise Sims while tearing up. "But this year she's taking off and she's excited to walk in the gait trainer."
Mallory did use the gait trainer this year, but she needed help from her physical therapist. For the parents, each small victory is celebrated.
The parents of Elizabeth Bromley say that the day of the fashion show ranks up there with Birthdays and Christmas.
"She's been through unfortunately over 30 surgeries, some invasive, some not so invasive," said Greg Bromley, Elizabeth's dad. "But she's a blessing, blessing for sure."
Lisa Campbell, a physical therapist at Kids Center, said the fashion show is a huge motivator for the kids. It gives them a goal to work towards.
"Watching them glow and sparkle when they're out there is amazing," Campbell said. "Seeing them in that light and watching their little faces."
Macy's gives the Kids Center a special deal on the clothes. Thanks to donations made by people in the community every child gets to keep their outfit. They also get to keep their memories.
"It's your child and to see her struggle every day and work so hard for things we all take for granted," said Thompson as Caylee was given a big bouquet of flowers from her grandfather.
The Kids Center is in the middle of their 12 days of Ability drive. To learn more about it, click on the following link: 12 days of Ability.