Paisley Minor, a 2-year-old Making a Difference
Paisley Minor is two years old and is enrolled in the Childcare and Early Learning Center at the Brandywine YMCA. The enthusiastic girl with the contagious smile is also a double amputee.
She was born with a rare condition called tibial hemimelia, which caused her to have club feet and unformed bones in her legs. In February, she had both legs amputated and was fitted for prosthetic limbs. At two years old, she had to learn how to function with her new legs and is now mastering life skills of walking and playing, with her prosthesis.
Paisley’s mother, Paige Thomas-Minor, is a Major is the U.S. Marines. She left her hometown of Coatesville when she joined the Marines in 2000, but returned home in January to prepare for Paisley’s surgery, recovery and rehabilitation.
When Paige lived in Coatesville, she was a member of the Brandywine YMCA, mostly during her high school years, as she prepared and trained to join the Marines. So, enrolling Paisley in the Brandywine Y’s Early Learning Center made sense.
A sense of belonging.
What Paige did not expect was the degree in which the staff at the Y not only welcomed them, but immersed Paisley in all the class activities.
“The teachers at the Y are simply amazing, especially Miss Sandy and Miss Cindy,” shares Paige. “They learned about Paisley’s disability and integrated her. They did not treat her differently. They continually come up with different and creative ways to work with her, as well as helping the other toddlers in the class learn and accept Paisley’s uniqueness.”
“Paisley does not feel like she is different,” Paige continues, “and, in five months, she was taking some steps on her own! I cannot say enough great things about this Y and the staff here! The staff and members of the Y may not realize it, but everyone is a part of Paisley’s success!”
Paisley is like the mayor of the Brandywine Y, smiling and laughing with staff and members–anyone who crosses her path– as she ambles down the hallway. She makes friends with staff at the front desk and members who share the therapy pool with her.
But her greatest gift to the Y may be helping others become more accepting of people of ALL abilities, which she is doing just from her presence.
As Paige and Paisley prepare to transition to the Marine Corps base in Virginia after the holidays, Paige notes that it is “time to teach people!” She sees how accepting people have been of Paisley at the Y and believes that acceptance of people and their differences is what the world needs right now. Her mantra, which she uses in her work and life, say it all: “Adapt. Overcome. Lead by example. Get it done!”