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Izzy’s Story: Children’s Specialized Hospital Patient and Rising 5th Grader Has Sights Set for Broadway

Izzy is a familiar face; she’s a primary narrator in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ latest video, which depicts the variety of people who make up its network of supporters. That web of supporters is mighty, from patients and families to national staff, programs, and corporate partners.

And that web is determined to ensure kids like Izzy have a world of possibilities.

In her own words, Izzy shares a bit of her story, her children’s hospital’s impact, and what’s next in her future.

I started going to Children’s Specialized when I was 13 months old, after my surgery, for PT and OT. My earliest memories are listening to Uptown Funk – “Don’t believe me, just watch, don’t believe me, just watch!” – while working to stand on my own. I used to dance more than stand still!

Also, I remember this pirate game that shot a plastic pirate head out the top; my mom was always so terrified of it. It made me laugh so much that I would turn red! Some of my favorite memories include any exercise that had to do with any of the different swings in the gym.

A month earlier, when I was just about 1, I was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor which was pretty much just cells that didn’t settle and made things worse for me. The doctors had to do surgery to get some out. That left me with pain that I deal with now and mobility issues, but I’m thrilled no matter what. I don’t want people to see me as a girl who walks funny, I want people to know me as someone who loves life as much as anyone her age should.

Today, I’m nine years old, live in New Jersey and am in the 4th grade. Next year for 5th grade, I will go to a new school, an intermediate school, since I’m graduating 4th grade this year. I’m sad to leave my school but am also excited because there are a lot of really cool clubs to join, like drama club and orchestra, which I plan to join.

When I’m older, or actually right now, I want to be an actor. I would love to be on Broadway in either Wicked as Elphaba or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as the role of Delphi. I like the idea of flying, and both characters are villains, but they’re so much more than that. I recently performed for a Garden of Dreams Foundation talent show at Radio City Music Hall. I love performing live because you can really interact with the crowd and feed off their energy. I love making the audience react and feel different things during my performance. I especially love making people laugh. Acting is fun because I get to be someone I wouldn’t be in real life. I love to put myself in all these different scenarios and think about what I would do and what my character would do. Acting is a place where you can be, do, and say anything! I would love to represent people with disabilities on screen and on the stage.

I want to show the world that we are so much more than our disability and deserve to do precisely what anyone else would do: follow their dreams, even if they look different.