Kailee’s Swift Journey:  Overcoming Challenges with Every Song

Kailee’s Swift Journey

Overcoming Challenges with Every Song

 By: Deidra Bowling-Meade

The Ashland Beacon

IMG 7257

Kailee Sharp's melody stands out, each note a testament to her resilience and uniqueness. As Taylor Swift croons, "And I think about summer, all the beautiful times," Kailee embraces her journey with Infantile Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, finding beauty in the moments that others may overlook. She's the star in her own story, shining brightly amidst the challenges she faces. Blessed with a spirit that defies limitations, Kailee knows that being different is her superpower, and she wouldn't change a single note of her extraordinary tune.


At just two years old, Kailee’s life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with Infantile Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. This condition, characterized by impaired muscle movement and coordination, meant that Kailee would face challenges most of us couldn't fathom.

Kailee explained, “I got my first wheelchair when I was five years old. My family has always taken care of me and helped me to do as many things that a child without disabilities can do. My life has consisted of therapy appointments, doctor visits, surgeries and hospital stays. I cannot feed myself or do anything for myself, but my wheelchair gives me the independence to get around as I cannot walk.”

Living with cerebral palsy presents numerous hurdles, both physical and emotional. Simple tasks that many take for granted become monumental feats for Kailee. According to Mayo Clinic, “cerebral palsy is a group of conditions that affect movement and posture. It's caused by damage that occurs to the developing brain, most often before birth. Symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years and vary from very mild to serious. Children with cerebral palsy may have exaggerated reflexes. The arms, legs and trunk may appear floppy or they may have stiff muscles, known as spasticity. Symptoms also can include irregular posture, movements that can't be controlled, a walk that's not steady or some combination of these.

Cerebral palsy may make it hard to swallow. It also can cause eye muscle imbalance, in which the eyes don't focus on the same object. People with the condition might have reduced range of motion in their joints due to muscle stiffness.”

Kailee maintains a positive outlook, refusing to let her condition define her. Kailee's spirit shines bright through her unwavering determination and infectious smile. She focuses on her passions: going to church, the mall, library and park. Kailee also likes to spend time with her boyfriend Brody and tries visiting him at least once a week. She enjoys watching basketball games and playing on the Challenger Basketball team.

Kailee shared, “I’m very thankful that I can do the things I do and be with people I love. I communicate with lots of people on social media and am friends with several that have CP as well, and we encourage each other. I have lots of friends and family that love me and support anything I try to do. My teachers at Poage, AMS, and Blazer have been an inspiration to me as well. I’m very lucky to have so many people in my life who love me because I know not all kids have that.”

Above all, Kailee has an adoration for Taylor Swift. Kailee commented, “I love Taylor Swift because she loves her fans and does a lot of good things for people. She is my favorite artist. Her favorite number is 13, and that’s the number I picked for my basketball jersey on the Challenger team.”

Taylor Swift's music has been a source of comfort and inspiration for Kailee through the years. Her powerful lyrics and compelling melodies have provided solace during difficult times, serving as a soundtrack to Kailee's journey. Swift's songs resonate deeply with Kailee, offering a sense of camaraderie and understanding that transcends the barriers imposed by her condition.

Kailee shared, “I started to listen to Taylor Swift in 2014. My favorite song is ‘This is Me Trying.’ The reason it is my favorite song is it helps me get through struggles in life; it calms me when I’m anxious. Taylor helped me through my surgeries. All my doctors know I love her, and they play her songs to help me be calm during tests and surgeries. Taylor’s music has always been able to cheer me up and put a smile on my face.” 

Kailee has set her sights on a dream: attending Taylor Swift's concert in Indiana on November 2nd. It's more than just a night out for Kailee; it's a chance to experience pure joy and fulfillment amidst life's challenges. However, attending the concert is no easy feat for Kailee and her family. It requires careful planning, accessibility accommodations, and financial resources beyond their means.

To make her dream a reality, Kailee has embarked on a fundraising journey, reaching out to her community and beyond for support. Kailee remarked, “Last year Taylor had her Eras tour, and I wasn’t able to go, but she is having a concert again this year. I just turned 22 on March 7. What better age to go to a Taylor Swift concert! My Swifties will know the reference!”

It just so happens that Taylor Swift has a song titled “22” that celebrates all the emotions Taylor experienced at the age of 22. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Kailee got the opportunity to attend Swift’s concert or even better get to meet her?

Kailee continued, “My sister Emma knows how much I love Taylor Swift and want to see her in concert. She talked to me about doing things to raise money to help me make my dream come true. There will be clay molds, wooden crafts, car washes, lemonade/bake sale. The only thing that will be priced will be the wooden crafts, and they will be $7.00 each. Everything else will be by donation.”

Tickets for the concert are being sold right now for $1,700 per ticket. Kailee has only collected $550 so far. Donations can be made to Kailee Sharp directly if you want to reach out on Facebook. A Venmo account is also setup @Dorothy-Giles.

Kailee’s determination and resilience have garnered attention and admiration, as people rally behind her cause. Her story isn't just about attending a concert; it's about defying odds, chasing dreams, and spreading hope in the face of adversity.

Micah Horton commented, “In 2017, Kailee Sharp was just 15 when I met and began to work with her. I was her instructional assistant at the Ashland Middle School and Paul Blazer High School. I’m honored and blessed to be apart of this young woman’s life, and I am a better human being because of knowing her. Kailee is wise beyond her years and isn’t afraid. She is hardworking and can always put a smile on anyone’s face.”

Tami Cook who is the librarian at Ashland Middle School agreed, “Kailee possesses a smile that lights up the room; her laughter is contagious. Being in a bad mood around her is simply impossible.”

Everyone who meets Kailee not only sees her extraordinary character but sees her face light up more whenever Taylor Swift is the topic. 

Cook continued, Kailee stands out as one of the most fervent Taylor Swift enthusiasts I've encountered. In an engaging activity, I once crafted a presentation board challenging students to discern between Taylor Swift song lyrics and lines of poetry by Robert Frost. Kaylee excelled, distinguishing herself by recognizing every lyric to every Taylor Swift song, outperforming her peers with her impressive knowledge.”

Stephanie Phillips from Blazer High School stated, “As an educator, many students make a lasting impact on my heart, but a student like Kailee is one in a million. The impact she has made on me is lifelong. She made my room and my life brighter through her smile and laugh. She kept all of her classmates laughing and, like Taylor Swift, is a fan favorite! Even when Kailee was having a down day or dealing with pain, she didn’t allow those things to take away her smile, her joy, or love for her friends! I used a Taylor Swift theme for my classroom expectations this year. The entire time I created the posters, I thought about how much Kailee would love them! There is absolutely no bigger Swiftie than Kailee!”

Horton remarked, “Kailee is the only one I know that literally knows every word to every Taylor Swift song. Her room is decorated like a Swiftie. She talks as if Taylor is her best friend. If Taylor knew this, I don’t doubt for a minute that she would want to meet thee Kailee Sharp because there is only room for one in my book! I love this girl more than anything, and it really would be enchanting if she met Taylor.”

Taylor Swift, known for her philanthropy and connection with her fans, has the opportunity to make a profound impact on Kailee's life. Meeting Kailee would not only bring immense joy to a devoted fan but also serve as a reminder of the power of empathy and compassion. Taylor has the chance to uplift Kailee's spirits and inspire countless others by recognizing her strength and resilience.

In a world often fraught with challenges and uncertainties, Kailee Sharp's story serves as a beacon of hope and resilience. Despite facing immense obstacles, she continues to radiate positivity and determination, reminding us all of the power of perseverance and the importance of chasing our dreams. As Kailee sets her sights on meeting her idol, Taylor Swift, she embodies the spirit of resilience, proving that with unwavering determination, anything is possible.

Let’s make this young lady’s dream a reality and get Kailee Sharp to Indiana to see Taylor Swift!

Related Articles