Suffering from a rare brain malformation that causes her to have cerebral palsy, 9-year-old Rylee Sanford is a champion. She is sassy, brave and head over heels in love with One Direction. When she was first diagnosed, doctors were sure Rylee would never so much as smile but she proved them all wrong and can talk, smile, laugh, crawl and is well on her way learning how to walk.
Rylee currently cannot walk without assistance and to navigate she has to either crawl or be carried. To provide Rylee full ability by modifying their house and potentially cover costs of a stem cell treatment, her family set up a YouCaring page last July, titled ‘Smiles for Rylee needs Accessibility’.
Their fundraiser was noticed by Zayn Malik who tweeted about it which helped raise $1900. He also sent Rylee and her sister merch.
Later in the year, Rylee was noticed by Louis Tomlinson, who very graciously donated $10k to her fundraiser which allowed Rylee, to buy not only her favourite pink wheelchair but also a ramp and a roof for the family’s porch. Louis signed off his donation with a note saying ‘Sending you all the love! Louis x’
Louis’ song, ‘Just Hold On’ has had a lasting impact on Rylee and means a lot to her. For Rylee, meeting Louis would be like a dream come true. To make that happen, Twitter user @coffeeholiclwt started a fan project called #LouisMeetRylee. The project has helped garner more support for Rylee and awareness to the cause. A large group of fans have been parading with the hashtag in hopes of catching Louis’ attention.
If you would have told Rylee’s elder sister a few years ago, that two of the members of the band would change their lives forever, she would have laughed in your face. But today, because of the band that helped Rylee get through some of the toughest times in her life, she is able to experience freedom. She has also garnered unrelenting support from the fandom.
To contribute to the fundraiser, please visit- Smiles for Rylee needs Accessibility.
Please keep sharing her story and participating in the #LouisMeetRylee fan project to help Rylee’s dreams come true.
Featured Image Source.