14-year-old uses her illness to help sick kids

Posted at 7:38 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 19:38:07-04

Kayla Abramowitz, 14, is making a lasting impression. Her middle school principal easily remembers their first conversation.

Watson B. Duncan Middle School principal Phillip D'Amico said, "I met Kayla in 6th grade when she came to me and said, 'Mr. D'Amico, can I take up a collection for some used books and some videos to help out some area hospitals.'"

Boxes of videos and books were collected.

He soon found out she had started her own non-profit organization "Kayla Cares 4 Cares."

Her principal said, "She's my hero, she's a good kid."

The 8th grader wanted to help youngsters in the hospital as she battles Crohn's disease and juvenile arthritis.

Her brother Ethan is also battling an illness.

Kayla said, "I noticed there we there were a lot of DVDs and books and things to entertain while I was there to get my mind off of my sickness. And I realized that the hospitals could use these items."

For the past three years, she has collected more than 10,000 items that she's donated to hospitals around the country.

She wants to reach more youngsters and put smiles on their faces by visiting 250 children's hospitals 180 Ronald McDonald houses.

She's received numerous awards, including young entrepreneur, Gov. Rick Scott's Champion of Service award and has been featured on Chelsea Clinton's website.

"Kayla is the most special student I have ever had in my life.  In any capacity, she is an amazing young lady," said D'Amico.

Visit Kayla Cares 4 Kids or call 561-389-4648 to learn more.