5-year-old Lilly Ann Powell beamed with pride when the Kids on Track medal was placed around her neck. She walked an entire marathon that summer just for this moment. Her mom Bethanie Faye couldn’t help but smile right along with her. She was so proud of how hard her daughter had worked.
Lilly Ann was born with fibular hemimelia, and was born without her right fibular bone or ankle. She relies on a prosthetic foot to walk.
Bethanie heard about the Kids On Track program though family, and asked Lilly Ann if it was something that she would like to do.
“Of course she said she wanted to do it. She never lets anything hold her back. She’s one determined little girl,” says Bethanie.
Lilly Ann and Bethanie walked together throughout the summer.
“It was a great bonding time for us. We both really enjoyed it,” says Bethanie.
Kids On Track is Boone Hospital Center’s community youth program for youth 12 years or younger. Participants are challenged to accumulate 26.2 miles (a full marathon) of physical activity over the summer months. They can do this through walking, running, biking, skating or swimming.
“The goal is to get kids active and make physical activity a habit at an early age,” says Kids On Track program coordinator Erin Wegner.
Kids On Track currently has programs in nine towns throughout mid-Missouri and each town has local mile sponsors that provide prizes to the participants for meeting goals throughout the summer.
“Having incentives along the way keeps kids motivated and provides some fun ways for families to spend time together,” says Erin.
Lilly Ann would get every excited every time she would meet a goal.
“When I walked enough miles, I would get a prize!” says Lilly Ann.
At the Kids On Track finale, participants receive a free Kids on Track T-shirt provided by the Boone Hospital Foundation, a medal and time to enjoy a fun evening with their families.
“We noticed Lilly Ann wasn’t the only child with a disability that was given a medal at the finale. That was really cool for both of us to see,” says Bethanie.
Lilly Ann says she hopes to do Kids On Track again next year.
“It was so much fun!” says Lilly Ann.