BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — “Kyli is a lot like your typical six-year-old, she’s a very happy, optimistic child, there’s not very much that gets her down.”

Meghan VanDyke said her daughter Kyli came unexpectedly at 23 weeks after a placental abruption. She said Kyli weighed around 14 ounces.

“Some after-effects of that, she had some brain bleeds that have led to cerebral palsy, and also she has hydrocephalus. The biggest challenge we have to overcome is the cerebral palsy, and so that’s really where her kind of interaction with Easterseals started out,” said VanDyke.

Kyli began working with Easterseals Central Illinois, where she received feeding assistance, and speech, occupational, and physical therapies.

“I think that kind of evolved after the first two years through early intervention, we just continued with Easterseals in person,” said VanDyke.

She said Kyli crawled until around age three.

She said during that time, Kyli was working hard with physical therapy, eventually using a walker for assistance.

“Maybe just one year after that, she ditched the walker, just through her physical therapy at Easterseals, and then of course, all the interaction with, she was going to school and ya know wanted to go after those kids and have a good time and run and play with them,” said VanDyke. “I think she took her first several steps in a row without falling over, at a Cardinals game, so it was a really exciting moment, we, we’re all cheering for her.”

Kyli’s mom said she’s come a long way.

She added, that in the four months they spent in the hospital with her after birth, they didn’t know what her future would hold.

“Just being able to see her do one thing after another, after another, I mean it gives us so much hope for what her future looks like, and how independent she’ll be,” said VanDyke.

She said she’s grateful to Easterseals for being engaged in Kyli’s development.

She added, that with all the things Kyli has overcome, her focus now is just being like the other kids.

“Just being able to kick a soccer ball, being able to run up the stairs,” said VanDyke.

Her next goal is to ride a bike unassisted.

“She had one of the AmTryke’s which is really assisted, and she’ll probably need some assistance, but we’re ready to upgrade so that she can ride a bike more like her sisters are riding,” said VanDyke.

VanDyke said all of these milestones are possible through services provided by Easterseals Central Illinois.