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.

Text Only
  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014

  • Don’t forget the runoff

    Most folks are either getting ready for or still recovering from their summer vacations. So it’s easy to forget that Tuesday is an election day. A runoff election day to be precise.

    July 20, 2014

  • Be excited about a new grocery store, but stay loyal to the Green Spot

    The Daily Citizen reported on the front page of the July 15 newspaper that Dalton could get a new grocery store.

    July 19, 2014