One of Rising Star Outreach’s most staunch supporters, Hayley Greer, won second attendant in the 2015 Miss Inspirational Pageant, a pageant to “honor and celebrate the lives of women with disabilities.” We asked her mother, Susan Greer, to write a short piece on Hayley and her success. Enjoy!

Hayley is 27. She’s my 5th last child. She has a dog named Copper. She enjoys cooking, especially pasta. She has an obsession with cooking gadgets. She enjoys Healthy Choices class at TURN, as well as Toastmasters. Her all time favorite activity is talking. I joke with her that on my grave it will say, “Hayley talked me to death.” This is funny because at one time, I worried that Hayley wouldn’t be able to speak normally. 

Hayley inspires me when I think of all the hard things she has done in her life. The challenges she faces in life are helping her learn empathy. She cares about what happens to other people. A couple of years ago she said she wanted to help people with leprosy. I didn’t even know she knew what leprosy was. Perhaps she had seen her sister crocheting a leprosy bandage almost 14 years previous to this conversation. 

We found an organization, and Hayley worked hard to raise funds through her cooking talents to sponsor the education of a young girl from the leprosy colonies in India. Since then she has been donating her checks so this girl she sponsors can keep going to school and have a better life. 

Everyday Hayley works on learning how to control her emotions by communicating her feelings through words. She has made huge improvements. Someday, I think expressing her feelings will be her greatest strength.

You should have heard her giving a lesson to Miss Salt Lake and the other queens during the pageant about leprosy and being shunned, having a micro business, going to school away from their families in the colonies. I remember when she was 5 sitting in the psychiatrist office and getting the diagnosis, not knowing what the future would be like for her or me. What a long way she has come and what happiness she brings!

We’re happy to congratulate Hayley on her success! If you’d like to learn more about the pageant, click here.

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