Parents of disabled girl battling rare disease need accessible vehicle

- It may be a normal day of classes and cheering at Oak Park Preparatory Academy.

But when you walk inside and have the chance to meet 12-year-old Anaya Lay, you walk away feeling inspired.

Despite everything she's been through, Anaya Lay maintains her faith in God.

She was diagnosed with Devic's Disease at the age of 6. The condition is very similar to Multiple Sclerosis, and it's rare for a child to have.

Anaya Lay wrote a song, reflecting her faith. It's called "I have faith in you Jesus."

"He said, 'Do you trust me,' Yes I do Jesus, amen," she sang.

Anaya spoke about her emotions that went into writing the song.

"When I was feeling down about my whole disease and I just thought about what God would do and what he would tell me if I had a conversation with him," she said. "And the whole process of going through the disease. So I just wrote it, and it came from my heart."

This young angel started life healthy and able to play like a kid.

"I would be in the gym, running, laughing, like a lot of stuff has changed," Lay said.

Over the years she has lost most of her mobility and is blind. Therefore, everyday life is tough for Anaya Lay and her grandparents who take care of her.

"It breaks her down, but she is a fighter," said Wayne Allen. "She has been handling a lot, a lot of stress for someone her age."

"We try to be there to support her," said Brenda Allen, her grandmother. "Let her know that we love her. And we're her eyes, we're her legs, and we're going to do all we can to keep her going."

It's difficult for Brenda Allen to take her granddaughter to doctor appointments or anywhere else. Her only means of transportation is a small, four-door Kia.

"So I can't get her in," Brenda said.

Day to day, Anaya's grandmother does a lot of lifting to get her in out of her car since her husband Wayne Allen is disabled. That's why a relative started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for a wheelchair accessible van.

"A vehicle that has a lift," Brenda Allen said. "We can roll her out her chair because we have a ramp at home. We can roll out and let the lift out and put her in a vehicle in her chair. She's heavy. She’s growing. My husband has heart issues. He can't help me lift her, so it's all on me."

Anaya loves to sing gospel. She's been on the cheer squad for a few months, and those who know her, support greatly.

There's a message she wants to share with everyone.

"Don't give up on themselves," she said. "See what I'm going through, they know they're not alone. And God is always with them, no matter what."

Anaya Lay is an inspiration. If you would like to help, CLICK HERE.

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