Kelley Fox is 23 years old, but developmentally she’s only around 5 or 6 years old. She lost half of her brain due to a disorder called tuberous sclerosis.
The disorder means she’s prone to seizures, the first of which she had when she was only 4 weeks old. It’s caused her to need two different brain surgeries, the last being a hemispherectomy.
For her parents, it has been an extreme challenge. It was like starting over. At first, Kelley went to public high school to do a school-to-work transition. But the law dictated that after she reached 21, she could no longer attend. Kelley needed some sort of structure in her life, some sort of educational system.
She enrolled at the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center, where she now attends classes three days a week. There, she learns life skills, like gardening and cooking. She also takes physical education and music classes. Her caregiver accompanies her to the center each time and says she’s noticed a difference in Kelley since she began the program two years ago.
She’s more outgoing and social. Full of life. While her condition changed the course of her life completely, she has taken it in stride with a smile on her face.
The hope is that Kelley will one day be capable of living independently, even if it’s in a group setting. Her family still believes that Kelley has a lot to offer the world. Among other things, she is an inspiration to those around her and an example of the difference spreading a little joy can make.
Read more about Kelley’s story here!