OUR AMAZING KID
Cancer survivor Anna Seely will represent Lake Oswego at a special celebration on Monday
Twelve-year-old Anna Seely, who overcame acute myeloid leukemia and now works to inspire others who are battling the disease, has been chosen to represent Lake Oswego as The Reviews Amazing Kid.
On Monday, the Lakeridge Junior High seventh-grader will join two dozen other students at a special event sponsored by Pamplin Media Group and held at OMSI that honors young people from across Oregon who have shown a deep commitment to community service. And next week, shell be featured in a special section that will be included in newspapers across the state.
I didnt really think about being in the hospital or being hooked up to an IV, Anna says of her time at Randall Childrens Hospital in Portland. I just thought about other things, like playing games or going outside onto the third floor, where they have a patio where you can go out and just get outside.
Today, Anna donates to other hospitalized children and volunteers at area cancer-fighting organizations. She gives blankets that she makes and toys to Randall Childrens Hospital, helps raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through events like Light the Night Walk in October. And she volunteers at a variety of other fundraisers, including a fashion show for CureSearch in December.
Anna also shares her story during events for the Childrens Cancer Association, such as a telethon in February and at the Get Inspired Spring Luncheon fundraiser for the organization in April. And she is trying to raise $3,000 for St. Baldricks, an organization devoted to pediatric cancer research, in advance of a June 4 event in Portland.
Every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer, says Annas donation page, bit.ly/1TBh7mM. Help me fund the research that will save their lives!
If she reaches that goal and in honor of the hair Anna lost during her own fight with cancer her dad, Ryan Seely, has agreed to shave his own head.
The story continues in a lot of different ways than we ever anticipated, says her mom, Kim Seely.
Each spring, Pamplin Media Groups community newspapers honor two dozen children as Amazing Kids. Theyll all gather Monday at OMSI for a special celebration, which is made possible by sponsors that include Coastal Farm and Ranch, KeyBank, Mattress World, Inspired Results and Fred Meyer. This years keynote speaker will be former Portland Trail Blazers player Terry Porter, who was named the University of Portland mens basketball coach in April.
In next weeks paper, The Review will include a story about the celebration and a full-color special section lauding Anna and the other awardees. Local businesses and organizations make the special section possible, including Portland Community College, which is sponsoring Anna.
Earlier this year, The Review asked readers to nominate students to be our Amazing Kid. In addition to Anna, those nominees were Breandan Downey, Bryan Gilmore, Sol Nudelman, Luna Raczko, Karthik Sreedhar and Patrick Urbanski. Needless to say, they are all amazing kids, too:
Lakeridge Junior High School eighth-grader Breandan Downey is a special needs student who created a science experiment so interesting that a representative from an Indiana college expressed interest in learning more. Breandan, who also volunteers to help the homeless in Portland, studied how music affects the brain by playing tunes while rodents raced through a maze.
Breandan discovered that its country music that apparently inspires speed, with the animals rushing through as quickly as possible. His mom, Kirsten Downey, postulates that may have been to escape the twanging, although many people still love the timeless song stylings of Kenny Rogers.
Bryan Gilmore (featured in the April 21 issue of The Review) began volunteering with special needs students in his freshman year at Lake Oswego High School. Last school year, he inspired his family to help Otis, a cream retriever, gain basic skills for the Autism Service Dogs of America program. Now a junior, Bryan became a coach this year for Special Olympics, persuading his family and a friend to join him.
These athletes inspire you, Bryan says. Even though they may have the odds against them in some cases, they seem to generally be happy and excited to be there. They dont seem to care how much money you have, or how you dress. They treat each other equally and with great respect. It is admirable to watch this each and every week.
As the regional president of the Jewish youth group Evergreen Bnai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO), Sol Nudelman is active in his community. A senior at Lake Oswego High School, he has attended leadership events nationwide and helped foster community service activities here and abroad. He also finds time to serve as sports editor of his school newspaper, Lake Views, and has participated in cross country, track, baseball, basketball and lacrosse.
Sol says he was surprised and honored that his community service was recognized, although he doesnt help out for recognition. Still, to get recognized is always incredibly humbling, he says.
Working with memory care residents at Portlands Marquis Autumn Hills is not the typical high school job, but Luna Raczko takes better care of the residents there than anyone else other than her older sister who also works there, says nominator Claudia Carlson, a visitor to the facility.
Luna, a junior at Lake Oswego High School, also assisted her grandmother with the Special Olympics in California and plans to be a nurse when she is older. She says she is proud to have been nominated and believes all of her hard work is worth it if she can make other peoples lives better.
I feel very happy, she says.
Karthik Sreedhar, a Lakeridge High School freshman, is involved in tennis, taekwondo (second-degree black belt), Mock Trial and Model United Nations. He also plays piano and is the treasurer of Key Club, president of the WaterAfrica Club and a member of the Lake Oswego Public Library Teen Board.
Karthik was nominated for his work with the WaterAfrica Club, having established Lakeridges chapter for the nonprofit organization that helps provide clean drinking water and sanitation to people in need in rural Zambia.
Most important of all, WaterAfrica co-directors Gary and Judi Mittelstaedts nomination says, Karthik is a young man of rich character trustworthy, dependable, compassionate, kind, persevering, determined, positive, self-disciplined, personable, focused.
Karthik says he is simply honored that someone would take the time to nominate him. That makes me feel like I did something right, he says.
Patrick Urbanski may still be in the seventh grade at Pilgrim Lutheran School, but hes already teaching his own class. Patrick was such an active and precocious volunteer at Dennis 7 Dees Garden Center that he soon found himself leading a class there on carnivorous plants. He regularly helps neighbors work in their gardens and has his own backyard greenhouse, full of plants hes rescued.
Patricks nomination came with a lengthy list of signed recommendations from community members, all of whom hes helped since his family arrived in Lake Oswego in 2008.
It was a surprise to me, he says. It was cool that they did that. It showed that they really liked me, and I was happy about that.