PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A local teen battling her own chronic illness is getting recognized for her work in helping other sick children.
Kayla Abramowitz’s life has been challenging from an early age.
"Everything really started when I was six years old and I started having stomach problems, and that led to me going in and out of the hospital for a very long period of time," Abramowitz said.
The diagnosis was a trifecta of Crohn’s disease, eosinophilic colitis, and juvenile arthritis.
Hospital visits became a regular thing for Abramowitz. Her longest stay of two weeks came when she was 11.
"I’d been in the hospital for so long that I was just bored out of my mind because I had read everything that there was to read, watched everything that there was to watch, and there was nothing else to do," Abramowitz said.
Once she was discharged, Abramowitz started collecting DVDs from neighbors to donate to sick children in the hospital.
"I came back and there were three hundred DVDs in my living room," Abramowitz said.
In 2013, with that response, Kayla Cares 4 Kids was born and has only been growing.
"Then being able to have something as simple as a DVD, a movie to watch or a book to read, it makes all the difference to get your mind of the pain," Abramowitz said.
Since then she has been busy donating entertainment and educational material to children’s hospitals in all 50 states across the country.
"Just being able to see the kids faces light up I knew how much it meant to them because I knew how much it meant to me," Abramowitz said. "It was just the best feeling and that’s how I knew this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life."
That passion caught the attention of the folks at the .ORG Impact Awards who selected Abramowitz as their 2020 Outstanding Volunteer out of a pool of more than 500. The award comes with a $5,000 donation to her organization that she wants to put toward kids fighting medical battles of their own.
"I was just recently in the hospital myself with my Crohn’s disease and I saw with COVID it’s lonely more lonely than ever and I just want people to know there’s always someone supporting them," Abramowitz said.
For more information about Kayla Cares 4 Kids, click here.