Local Teen Battling Rare Disease Graduates from High School
The 18-year old girl from Albion who is battling a rare disease called Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) has graduated from Northwestern Senior High School.
Kylie Allen-Kulyk celebrated graduation on Saturday evening surrounded by family and friends, which is something she wasn't sure she would be able to do.
Just a few weeks ago, Kylie was put into a medically-induced coma after her health took a drastic turn. She had pneumonia, a blood clot in her arm and was put on a ventilator. Her family wasn't positive that she would pull through after spending at least two weeks in the coma.
Kylie was released from the hospital in time to walk with her class for their graduation ceremony on June 6th, where her classmate Joshua Schmidt said in his speech, "Kylie, we're so thankful you could be here with us today. You inspire us with your strength and I want you to know how important you are to us. Keep fighting and know we are behind you one hundred percent."
At her graduation party, she reflected on her battle with SPS and being able to attend graduation with her classmates. "My family, they were trying to think of different arrangements—like people might come down and give me my diploma in the hospital—things like that," she said, "I pulled through not just because of me but because of everyone around me."
Kylie and her family say they can't thank everyone who has sent encouraging messages, cards and prayers during her time in the hospital. They say the tremendous support from the community and people around the world has helped them all stay strong.
She says she's just happy to be out of the hospital again. "I'm just really excited being home and being able to be here," she said, "I'm just so thankful and blessed and I am walking when I couldn't two or three weeks ago."
Now, Kylie is focusing on her health before her next round of treatments in two weeks. She hopes to have the opportunity to travel, share her story to continue raising awareness for SPS and help motivate others who are struggling to keep fighting their battles.