Meeting Ikeisha

FullSizeRender(Ikeisha with her prom dress selection)

This past Saturday, I spent the day volunteering for one of my favorite charity events. Jada Paul (wife of LA Clippers player, Chris Paul) puts together an event every year called the “Jada Paul Prom Dress Giveaway” where she brings in 100 high school seniors from around the city for a heartwarming afternoon. The event features a motivational speaker, fashion show and an over all emphasis on promoting good health and high self esteem for the girls. The biggest (and most exciting) part of the program is when the girls get to pick dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories for the big night, all donated by sponsors.

The highlight of my day was getting to meet a sweet young lady by the name of Ikeisha. I was volunteering in the shoe department when she and her Mom came by. She had bright eyes and an infectious smile. Turns out this was the only way she could communicate, as she wasn’t very verbal and had a hard time putting more than two words together. But although her needs were significant, there were also so many amazing things about her. My heart expanded a little bit more on Saturday, so that I’ll always have a special place for Miss Ikeisha.

As Arizona moves closer to her next birthday (9!), I think about all the worries and fears I have felt for her future. Will she be able to live on her own and function appropriately in society? Will she get married and have kids? Will she ever learn how to drive?

After spending a few hours with Ikeisha as she found the perfect prom look, I couldn’t wait to get back home to see Arizona. I know, ultimately, that her possibilities are unlimited. And, as much as I am looking forward to her soaring in the future, I want to stay present and engaged with each moment I have with her now.

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