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Meet Kiara!

Kiara posing for the camera

Easterseals MORC Instrumental in Giving Kiara and Family Hope

Kiara is a lover of all things that includes going to arcades, bowling, and shopping at the mall or Target. Her favorite items to shop for are Bratz dolls and lip gloss from Claire's. Kiara also enjoys playing various driving and 'girly' games on her iPad along with playing with Diego, her service dog.

Nearly 30 years ago, Kiara's mother, Anitra, was told her daughter was not expected to live past the age of 13. Thanks to Diego, Kiara is able to go out into the community and be socially active.

Kiara and Diego (dog)

"Before Diego, I was scared to do anything unless I was within an arm's reach of Kiara," Anitra said. "He's able to help Kiara in so many ways. He opens and closes doors, pushes elevator buttons, sleeps with her, and is able to detect seizures and behavioral disruptions."

Kiara has been diagnosed with more than 20 different challenges including cerebral palsy, intractable partial epilepsy, cognitive impairment, and experiences anywhere from two to 45 seizures a day.

For over 25 years, Easterseals MORC has been instrumental in providing support to help Kiara be able to go out into her community and be a socially active member in society. The organization also helped make it possible for Kiara to receive Diego. Kiara currently receives comprehensive services including occupational, physical, and speech therapies as well as behavioral support, CLS (Community Living Support), and respite care.

"Easterseals MORC has been a great help to my family over the years," Anitra said. "Without them, I would not have been able to get breaks or have a moment to myself."

Kiara, whose father is a minister, and family believe in the power of prayer. Anitra explained that thier prayers were answered when Kiara received Diego. Kiara and her family have expressed tremendous gratitude for Easterseals MORC and many others who have helped Kiara progress to where she is today.

daughter and mother pose for a picture

"It's so important to go with your gut, no matter what someone else thinks about your situation," Anitra said. "Going with my gut to get as much information as I could to help my daughter, lead our family to Easterseals MORC. God will always show up."

Today, Kiara is still going strong. Although it's been a long road for her and her family, she's graduated high school and is determined to still accomplish her current goals and dreams.

"She has a goal right now to be able to learn how to read and how to tie her shoes," Anitra said. "If she could one day meet Beyonce or Cardi B, she would be the happiest girl alive."

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