BUFORD, Ga. -- Brave Conquers Fear
You can hear sounds of happiness and learning before you reach the door of Ms. Kristie Martin’s classroom. One small, yet distinct laugh that stands out. It comes from a young lady who is a stand out in the class. One student who has made an impact in every way, Michaela Haney.
Ms. Martin is reading from a book about a child looking towards space.
Watch the full story, here.
These 7th graders seem to love stories about space, about grasping things that seem so far out of reach.
It is a lesson their friend, Michaela Haney demonstrates every day.
Photos | Michaela Haney's brave conquers fear
Her classmates will tell you she is very smart. Osvaldo Rico is one of her best friends. He can make her laugh more than just about anyone else. She has been known to give him a hard time too. He said, “Once I was trying to eat my chips and she told me to get to back to work.” She set the standard in class.
Michaela has been conquering cant’s her in entire life.
Her mom, Kristi said, “They said she would not cry and she came out screaming and they said she’d be on oxygen for 6 weeks and she was off in 6 days.”
She has been a fighter since day one. She has had to fight every day since.
Doctors diagnosed Michaela with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (ASD) when she was 9 months old. It looked grim. She had to get a trach tube so she was never able to speak much. She cannot move her body.
Her mom recalls a conversation with a doctor who explained that most children in her condition do not live to see their 2nd birthday.
Michaela is a teenager now. Feisty has served her well.
“She certainly has some attitude; I’ll tell you that” her mom laughs. “She is a normal 13-year-old when it comes to that.”
So, with her medical bags decorated with Lanier Middle School stickers to show her school spirt and her nails carefully manicured, Michaela comes to class every day.
Her classmates have learned that her inability to talk or move does not reflect her ability to lead.
They look up to her. “She steps up, she is a leader.” Osvaldo Rico said. “She inspires everybody.”
Her classmate Ashton said, “She has inspired me to step up and answer questions in class.”
Mikaela uses use her eyes to guide her computer. She does every assignment everyone else does, but usually does it a little bit better.
“She gets straight A’s” Her mom says proudly. “I think her lowest grade is a 94.”
Kristi Haney tears up. “I’m just so proud of her, she has gone above and beyond so many times.” Last year, Michaela got an award for having the highest GPA for her class.
I asked her what she hopes her friends learn from her. “To be outgoing.” Michaela typed on her computer in response.
She is certainly that. She has been part of softball teams and girl scouts. She recently performed with the school chorus.
Kimberly Maugans is her music teacher. “She is one of the most musical people I have in my class.” She said. “She has taught me a whole lot about life.”
So next time you wonder if something is possible, think of Michaela.
She has never backed away from a challenge or held back trying anything, despite her many physical challenges. Her mom said, “She has no fear and it makes me so proud of her.”
Ms. Martin added, “She is just a fabulous role model and the courage to enjoy each day and do the best that she can.”
It’s what has her reaching goals so many might misjudge are too far out of reach.
She has big goals ahead as well. She wants to go to a football game at the University of Georgia and one day wants to be a math professor at UGA.
If you have a story of courage to share, send it to Atlanta Alive Morning Anchor Cheryl Preheim; Cpreheim@11Alive.com.