KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Baldwin City, Kan., teen will graduate with her class this Saturday, and it is an extraordinary accomplishment.
Each step before she can take steps is a challenge for Molly Ogden. Putting on a brace, then shoes. Doing it with only one arm. Ogden lost movement in her right arm and leg two and a half years ago. She had a major stroke a day after a hard fall.
"Me, uh, fight hard," said Ogden.
She's fought to walk and talk.
"They are eating," she said to her speech therapist as she looked at a flash card.
The stroke damaged the communication part of Ogden's brain.
"But it does not affect her intelligence, so she's understanding everything that's coming in, but she has trouble getting the words out," said her mother, Alison Ogden.
She says her daughter has made great strides since the day, just over two years ago, when she was wheeled in to the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City.
Ogden still comes to the institute one day a week while going to Baldwin High the other weekdays. She will take some amazing steps on Saturday. She'll march down the aisle to graduate with her class. She can picture her mom.
"Mom crying," Ogden said, laughing.
Ogden is one of four young women who've had strokes and are graduating from area high schools. Madeline Mudd, Blake Ephraim and Abby Anderson have become Ogden's friends.
"Even though they're all dealing with different situation,s they understand each other and they've been able to support each other," said Ogden's mother.
They've reached one of life's big milestones.
"My hard work earned it," said Ogden.
Hard work and a positive attitude are certain to take Ogden farther. She'll go to Baker University in the fall.
This is National Orange Popsicle Week. It was started by a metro couple to raise awareness, support and funds for young stroke survivors.