Indianapolis News and Headlines


Meet Zailey: An inspiring 6-year-old

Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 17:25:32-05

Have you ever thought about how fortunate you are to have legs to walk on and hands to write with? These are little blessings that most people take for granted. 

But there is one little girl, who is showing us all that not everyone needs every thing to thrive. 

Zailey Andrade was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, which simply means her knees, elbows, fingers and ankles are contracted and she can't straighten or move them. 

But in her first grade class, it is not about what she cannot do, but all about how she can. 

"Like I still can do what they do, but I do it differently. I do it with my mouth instead of my hands," Andrade said. 

No hands, no problem. With the help of a high-tech wheelchair and a classroom full of helpmates and full-time dedicated aid, the 6-year-old masterfully navigates first grade with a positive attitude. 

"Zailey does truly inspire me to be a better teacher because she shows us there's no limit. That she can do whatever she sets her mind to, and so if she can, then I can," her teacher Joslyn Robertson said. 

"I learned from her, like how she writes and does stuff, because she can't use her legs, hands," Zailey's classmate A.J. Scott said. 

But hand Zailey a classroom task and she'll handle it with unquestioned precision and effort. The first grader has at least 11 more years to teach others, learn and wonder about life's other big question. 

"I think she went through of phase of where she was asking questions like, 'Mom, am I ever gonna be able to walk?' and we always say, "It's up to God. If God wants you to walk, he'll allow you to walk.'" 


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