Brylinn Searles is not your ordinary five-year-old. She was born with cerebral palsy and is non-verbal, but her mom Leandra Scott wants her daughter to be seen just like everybody else.
“When we found that she had cerebral palsy, I just wanted to keep her involved in things and I didn’t want her to ever feel like she can’t do things because I feel like she can do anything,” Scott said.
Determined to let her daughter’s personality shine through, Scott entered her in a local beauty pageant. That’s when the awards stared coming in.
After Brylinn won two trophies in the contest, Scott decided to take the show on the road. They’re now on their way to Rochester for The National American Miss Pageant, a contest with thousands of typical kids.
Currently mobile by wheelchair, Brylinn’s father will escort her for the formal wear part of the pageant and Scott will stand by her side for interviews to be her voice.
She says she wants people to know that Brylinn is not disabled, she just has different abilities then others.
“She probably can’t do it like the little girl that’s walking and talking and running. She may have to do it a little differently, but she can get it done,” Scott said.
To document her daughters journey, Scott started a Facebook page and the Niagara Falls community took notice. Friends and neighbors donated more than $2,000 for her pageant fees, dresses, and other expenses. Scott said she was overwhelmed by the support.
“The outpour of response and people willing and wanting to help they say they believe in her, and we’re so thankful.”
Brylinn is still $500 shy of her ultimate goal. If you’d like to donate or watch her journey you can follow her on Facebook.