A 13-year-old come-back kid from Tulsa is working hard to get back on to the soccer field.
Izzy Kitterman survived a deadly crash that took the lives of two of her siblings. Now, her big sister’s soccer team wants to help Izzy in her fight to walk again, and maybe even play soccer again.
Doctors told the Kitterman family Izzy might not ever breath on her own or walk again. But, in just 10 months, the teenager is making great progress.
"I can stand up without my BP going down. I can stand up without anyone holding my hips, without hands and I can lock out my left knee now," Izzy said.
Despite all she has been through, the 13-year-old said she won't stop until she can walk on her own and play soccer again.
“It just makes me happy, and I want to be independent and not like have to rely on people to take me places," Izzy said.
A program in Texas is helping her get there.
Once a week, Izzy and her family have been driving all the way to Dallas to a place called REACT. It's the closest center the Kitterman family could find to Oklahoma that treats pediatric patients who have spinal cord injuries like Izzy's.
"REACT just pushes me to do my hardest. I can't just say, ‘Oh, I'm getting dizzy,’ they will be like, ‘Okay. Stand up for a couple more seconds,’" Izzy said.
The therapy and travel expenses cost more than $65,000 a year, and insurance doesn't help with any of it.
The bills are adding up, so Izzy's big sister, Ashlyn, and her teammates came up with a plan.
Ashlyn plays for Fortuna, Tulsa’s brand-new women’s soccer team. The team is donating some of the proceeds from their second game of the season to Izzy to help with her medical costly bills.
"Every time I go on the field it's for her, because she is not able to do it, so I have to do it for her every time I play," Ashlyn said. "If she keeps going and then I will have my sister’s back."
That game is on June 9th at the University of Tulsa Stadium. You can buy tickets, t-shirts and wristbands online under #ThePowerOfIzzy3. You can find more information here. You can also make contributions to a savings fund at any BOK location.