Last year at this time, 13-year-old Ally Baier was not in the best health to celebrate the holiday season.
Diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, Ally has spent the last year in and out of Children’s Mercy Hospital.
The California Trail Middle School student was recently accepted into the Future Educators Academy, a program in the Olathe School District. It pairs future teachers like Ally with patients at Children’s Mercy who will receive tutoring and mentoring assistance with schoolwork.
On Saturday, at a party at Marriott Hotel in downtown Kansas City, Ally and her family learned that a pilot program was being named in her honor.
‘The Ally Project: Every Kid Deserves an Ally’ was illuminated in lights on the south side of the hotel. It was a sight to see, Ally said.
“I was surprised that the would do something like this for me,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I was that important.”
Ally said her mother and a seventh-grade teacher inspired her to become an educator. She will not be deterred by cancer, she said.
“I’ve been working on making my life better,” Ally said. “It feels pretty good.”
Both of Ally’s wishes were granted with the help of the Elves of Christmas Present, a group of anonymous volunteers.