Thumbs Up To Athlete and Student, Paige Wright

Alyssa Paige Wright is a 14 year-old brunette with a great, outgoing personality and a disarming, wide smile…

Alyssa Paige Wright is a 14 year-old brunette with a great, outgoing personality and a disarming, wide smile.  She is an incoming Freshman at Wilson Central High School and if the trend continues, she will be one of the teachers’ favorites.  Quite an athlete, she plays softball, basketball, bowls, swims and rides horses.

Maintaining such a schedule and keeping her focus while undertaking so many activities is pretty special but that is not what defines her.  You see, Paige was born with Cerebral Palsy.  She also was diagnosed with Dystonia (a condition similar to Parkinsons) at age eight.  Paige is challenged by being able to take only a few steps on her own.  She crawls and scoots but outside her home she relys on her wheelchair most of the time.  Her speech is very limited but her smiles, hugs and body language allows those close to her to understand.  Paige is fed primarily via a feeding tube attached directly to her stomach.  It is called her “Mickey Button” and is utilized six times per day.  She is given her medications three times daily and will be required to do so for life.

Paiges’ parents, Jimmy and Melissa, along with her eleven year-old sister, Shelby, complete this special family.  They see to it the precision and attention required for her safe being is provided without fail.  Paige’s grandparents also play a large role in her support, love and daily care.

If you can look past the obvious differences between Paige and most other fourteen year-old girls, you will find many areas in which she is exactly like any other.  Paige’s room is decorated in pink and purple with lots of monkeys scattered about.  She is a big fan of Hannah Montana and High School Musical.  She loves going out and being part of the group.  She is competitive and wishes to excel.   As with most girls her age, she just wants to belong and be accepted.  Jimmy coaches Shelby’s softball team and Paige is always there.  She is included in the team huddle and rates the game and every players performance with a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down.”  She can be a very tough judge! 

Paige also plays on a softball team funded by the Mt. Juliet Challenger League.

Jimmy, Melissa & Shelby take turns pushing her wheelchair around the bases.  All of the special needs players get to bat, field and have an end of season pizza party & trophy presentation. Everybody is a winner in Paige’s league!

Shelby and Paige are typical sisters.  They play, they fight, they love, they argue, they share, and sometimes they don’t share.

This year marks another milestone in Paige’s life.  As a freshman at Wilson Central High School she will be introduced, yet again, to a new environment.  Jimmy and Melissa, while providing a safe and stable homelife, insist on Paige being part of everyday society.  Rather than guarding her away they strive to keep her involved in varied activities to expose her to a normal life as possible.  Paige will be enrolled in the CDC (Comprehensive Development Class)  class at Wilson Central.  While she is limited vocally, she is aided in her communication by use of her “Chat PC.”  This device is pre-loaded with Paige’s answer to many questions she may be asked.  Everything from her name and address to her favorite color or movie can be accessed and produced in digital sound.  Reading and music are her favorite subjects with math somewhat farther down the line. 

One must experience Paige’s spark, tight hugs and huge smile to begin to know how “Special” she is to everyone she meets. To know Alyssa Paige Wright, is to love her.  Paige, you are truly “Special!”

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