Opinion

February 21, 2014

Citizen of the Week: Ryleigh Ledford

As someone with autoimmune disorders, Ryleigh Ledford knows what it’s like to suffer from a chronic medical condition.

So when the recently-turned teen celebrated her 13th birthday in January, her focus was on helping another local family. The Gilley family has struggled to help their 7-year-old daughter cope with health conditions that cause her to have up to 50 seizures a day despite taking medication.

Ryleigh’s mother, Stephanie, said this is the first time her daughter has held a local fundraiser, a birthday party at The Zone Skate Center in Dalton. The business agrees to donate half of the proceeds from their fee back to the family of Zoe Gilley. Instead of asking for presents, Ryleigh asked her guests to donate gift cards for the family.

“It’s rare for a kid her age, I think, to do that,” Stephanie Ledford said.

She said the fact her daughter made a name for herself through popular YouTube videos — including one in which she uses humor to respond to criticism over having to wear braces — and was able to use that status to draw people to the party and get a greater outpouring of support for the Gilleys.

Stephanie said God laid a desire on Ryleigh’s heart to help out.

“Ry explained (to the family) that sometimes God chooses someone to be helped because he knows that once they are on their feet they will then help someone else and the cycle will continue,” Stephanie said. “That is why this family is so deserving because they will and do help others in need.”

Zoe was released from a hospital stay the day of Ryleigh’s party, Stephanie Ledford said. Her family has been pushing for a bill that would legalize a form of marijuana for specific medical uses in hopes that it would help Zoe and others.

Ryleigh learned about the family through her father. He had taken a call at work from a friend of the Gilleys that led him to work with several people to have a generator delivered to them before some severe weather.

“He shared this story with Ryleigh, and that is when God led her to help,” Stephanie Ledford said. “Her birthday was coming up, and what a perfect idea. Instead of gifts she asked for gift cards for the family.”

For her act of kindness and having the vision to look beyond herself, The Daily Citizen names Ryleigh Ledford Citizen of the Week.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Citizen of the Week: Kacee Smith of the Georgia Rampage

    When the Georgia Rampage became Dalton’s first professional indoor football team last year, it would have been easy for the owner and players to focus only on drawing attention to themselves as they tried to build up the team’s following.

    April 18, 2014

  • Successes continue at Dalton State College

    These are exciting times for our local college, Dalton State, both on campus and off.

    April 16, 2014

  • Mark Millican: The birds hushed their singing

    For the uninitiated, that line is from what many consider the greatest rock song of all time, “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin.

    April 15, 2014

  • Misty Watson: When blood sugar drops, anger rises

    It wouldn’t have taken 107 married couples and 21 days to figure out that being hungry makes people angry.

    April 15, 2014

  • Working for the man

    You may be one of the many Americans who will rush to file their income taxes today. But you may not yet have earned enough money to pay all of the taxes that will be imposed on you this year.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letter: The glib tongue, the fake smile

    A recent Daily Citizen column by Walter Williams will both awaken and frighten any thinking person who claims even a smidgen of knowledge about — or belief in —  either the Bible, world history or current events.

    April 15, 2014

  • College soccer team would bring local talent together

    Dreams of combining the best soccer players from all local high schools into one team finally could come true.

    April 13, 2014

  • Letter: Primaries feature many choices

    Many people are confused this year about the May 20 Election Day. Unfortunately, very few voters in Whitfield County actually go to the polls for a primary election. But this means any increase in participation can have a significant impact.

    April 12, 2014

  • Letter: Hooper for Murray chief magistrate

    Thanks to all the wonderful people and friends who backed me for District 1 Murray County Board of Education. You sure showed a lot of support. Sorry I had to step down due to my and my wife’s health. I am a lot better now.

    April 12, 2014

  • Judicial dispute could have been avoided

    Judicial elections in Whitfield and Murray counties tend to be low key. In fact, we can’t recall the last time an incumbent judge on the Conasauga Superior Court, which cover the two counties, has even faced a challenger.

    April 12, 2014