Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! of the Month – Noelle Gregoire – September 2015

Noelle Gregoire, 10-year-old Fundraiser and Hope Provider
Written by Catherine Cheng, AKOM Writer

 

Quote of the Month

“No matter what is happening, there is always a way to find a reason to smile.”
– Noelle Gregoire, 10-year-old Fundraiser and Hope Provider

September Amazing Kid! of the Month

September says goodbye to the beautiful season of summer and welcomes the start of a new school year. With new teachers, new classes, and new classmates, the start of this year might feel a little daunting. You might be nervous about fitting in or achieving the grades you want, but remember, you are capable of overcoming. Amazing Kids! encourages you to be brave, bold, and optimistic this month – don’t let anything or anyone keep you from taking control of your life and working miracles.

Noelle Gregoire knows all about overcoming difficulties and making the best of what she has. Despite being diagnosed with Dysplastic spondylolisthesis, a rare spinal condition, she manages to remain positive and strong. Today, she participates in various fundraising activities in order to raise funds to purchase toys for Tufts Floating Hospital’s reward closet.
Noelle’s story is sure to inspire you and leave you smiling. Keep reading to find out more about Noelle and her determination to live, hope, and inspire.

Noelle proudly holds up some of the money she raised.

Noelle proudly holds up some of the money she raised.

Embracing Life As It Is

When Noelle Gregoire was first diagnosed with Dysplastic spondylolisthesis, she spent three years in a back brace. Her first brace was completely plastic and had to be worn twenty-three hours a day. It was a difficult time for her as she found herself unable to participate in many physically straining activities. However, Noelle stayed strong. She realized that she had to make the best of her situation and spent her time sewing, playing piano, crafting, and playing games.

While Noelle stayed at Tufts Floating Hospital, she was particularly inspired by the hospital’s reward closet. For her, knowing there would be something exciting waiting for her at the end of her procedure made the process more bearable and exciting. As a result, after her condition had stabilized slightly, she realized she wanted to donate prizes to the reward closet and make sure other kids like her received the same touch of hope she did.

Noelle decided to swim across the lake as a fundraising event. Through training and work with her physical therapist, she was able to become strong enough to swim across the lake in under one hour! Her efforts were well received by the community and she was able to raise over $2,500 in funds.

Noelle swims across the lake in order to raise funds for her charity Laps 4 Backs.

Noelle swims across the lake in order to raise funds for her charity Laps 4 Backs.

Noelle didn’t stop there though! She wanted to give back to her community even more and started her own charity, Laps 4 Backs. Her work quickly expanded to include selling bracelets, T-shirts, and lollipops, running a GoFundMe page, and using her birthday as an opportunity to ask for donations. On June 25th, 2015, Noelle donated over 6,000 toys to the hospital – an amount worth over $9,000.

A Little Hope Together

Through her actions, Noelle spreads hope through her community. Her actions touch the kids at Tufts Floating Hospital, allowing them to experience the same happiness she once did. However, her work touches more than just the kids her toys go to. Noelle’s efforts inspire her entire community.

Noelle notes that when she tells people her story, they often get teary eyed or smile. Sometimes strangers will even hug her or kiss her forehead. Those who remember her story are inspired by her strength. Today, Noelle hands out business cards to help her story travel further. She hopes to make an even bigger difference.

In fact, in the future, Noelle wants to provide not only toys to the kids at the hospital but also wishes to start granting wishes to sick kids elsewhere. When she was in her first brace, her mother and father didn’t have a lot of money, yet they still found a way to provide for her. Their efforts inspire her to want to give the same blessing to other kids like her. She dreams of helping kids recover and stay strong by granting their wishes.

Noelle stands surrounded by the toys she will soon donate to Tufts Floating Hospital. Little actions add up and Noelle is certainly inspiring a very large amount of people.

Noelle stands surrounded by the toys she will soon donate to Tufts Floating Hospital.
Little actions add up and Noelle is certainly inspiring a very large amount of people.

Positivity Wins the War

Noelle’s life wasn’t easy, but she found a way to positively battle her condition and give back to her community. Through giving back she has made her life even more happy and meaningful. For her brave, charitable actions, Noelle has been awarded the Mary Jo Brown Foundation’s Smile Spreader Award and the Kohl’s Cares Kindness Award.

We encourage you to be positive about your conditions no matter how negative they may seem. Remember that you are strong and that there will always be people around you to help support you on your journey. Each of us has the potential to be happy, amazing, and inspiring.

As Noelle says: “I am only nine and I have a broken back, yet I figured out a way to do it. Everyone has a way, you just need to figure it out.”

One comment

  1. Christina Brown /

    Way to go Noelle! You truly are an AMAZING kid!!!