Hero is not a term I use loosely. It is not one I banter around like a tennis ball. I admire many people but hero is reserved for only a few people in my life. One person I call my hero is my friend Kelly. She is an amazing, wonderful and gifted woman who teaches me something new every day.

Kelly’s life has been full of twists and turns … The unexpected and difficult seems to find Kelly but she takes it in stride and makes each look easy and planned.

Kelly and her husband adopted a daughter, Gillian…Gilly. She is a beautiful girl with the breathtakingly blue eyes. Looking into Gillys eyes is looking right into her heart. Gilly grows more stunning and more interesting with each passing day.

Gilly is unique in so many ways. You see Gilly is autistic. Parenting an autistic child was not what Kelly had planned but she is so good at it. She is an amazing mother who makes sacrifices like no other. The challenges she faces on a daily basis are mountains in my world but to Kelly…they are speedbumps.

Soon after they adopted Gilly, Kellys husband passed away. It was totally unexpected and devastating to Kelly. She swerved a bit but never stopped. Her determination to keep going in the face of this devastating loss was and is awe inspiring.

Along the way there have been so many other challenges for Kelly and Gilly such as Kelly’s battles with multiple rounds of cancer. However Kelly manages to keep a smile on her face and, while her path may swerve a bit, she never strays to far from the center. There never seems to be a battle too tough or a mountain too high.

They say that God saves his toughest battles for his strongest soldiers. Well, my friend, Kelly, must be the Goliath of soldiers. God has given her the toughest battles and she always comes out a winner. She is a hero. She is my hero. She is my friend and I am truly blessed.

If you would like to help Kelly help other parents and children with autism, click here.




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