Devoted parents always want the best for their kids. Their children’s woes are theirs too, and it pains the adults to be unable to help with their struggles.
Liberty Griggs lives in St. George, Utah, and attends Pine View High School. Bound to a wheelchair, Liberty’s high school experience differs from that of other students.
At 10 years old, Liberty was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia.
The devastating diagnosis altered the direction of Liberty’s life forever. Friedreich’s Ataxia is a lifelong disease that attacks the nervous system and can lead to a number of other medical conditions.
“It is a life-shortening disease,” Liberty’s mom Jenny Griggs said to Good 4 Utah.
Since her diagnosis, her family has made it a priority for her to experience as much as she can. With an indomitable spirit, she takes pride in challenging others’ expectations of her.
“I just have things I can’t do, and I want to show the world that maybe I can do them, and like inspire others to do the same,” Liberty said to Good 4 Utah.
One item on Liberty’s bucket list is to visit Australia to see the beach and kangaroos.
Liberty is beloved by her schoolmates, as well as the faculty and staff, for her upbeat attitude despite difficult circumstances. She mentioned her desire to visit Australia to the football coach one day in passing.
“And so the second she told me that, I was like: ‘okay, how are we going to do this?'” Pine View Football Coach Ray Hosner said to Good 4 Utah. “The guys said ‘hey coach, we can do this.'”
The football team took the mission on as their own and launched a yearlong fundraiser without telling Liberty it was for her. In a huge assembly in the school gymnasium, they told her the great news.
The Pine View football team raised enough money to send Liberty on an all-expenses paid trip.
The reaction on her face when she heard the news was priceless. Her face flushed with excitement, she looked around as if for confirmation that she’d heard correctly.
“You just make everyone light up when they meet you,” Brooks Maile, a football player and friend, said to Liberty.
Liberty’s entire family will be going, and this summer, she’ll be able to cross off a big item on her bucket list. As thrilled as she was, Liberty’s mother was floored by the kindness the team showed her daughter.
“It’s just such a heartfelt gift that they put in all this effort all throughout the year, raising money so she could have this incredible opportunity,” Griggs said. “So yes, I’m stunned.”
And the girl with a “no quit attitude” is not only shocked and amazed, but feels heartfelt appreciation.