Kayla's Courage - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Kayla's Courage

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New Orleans, La. -

A young lady who has already overcome the obstacle of being born without arms, wraps her determination another milestone. We introduced you to Kayla Allain last year, the teenager who succeeds despite a disability that would force many to give up.

"Nobody is looking at Whether I have a disability or not. I fee more relaxed and at home here," said Kayla sitting in Loyola's Dana Center.

Kayla is one of 953 freshmen at Loyola, majoring in psychology. She may be the only one born without arms. Her best friend Asia Cleggett remembers their first meeting on campus.

"When I saw her walking through the Dana Center with a friend of mine, I thought she is so pretty," Cleggett said.

"I was wondering how does she write, how does she text? Is she just like me?"

From an early age Kayla quickly adapted to her rare condition. It's called Amelia of the upper extremity. Nothing stood in little Kayla's way. We caught up with her last year in high school at Sacred Heart, dissecting a pig heart in anatomy class. She also typed notes on her laptop with amazing skill with her feet.

She graduated from Sacred Heart in June.

"The day after the graduation, after the party and everything I started thinking, oh my God now it's college."

Academic challenges didn't phase Kayla. How she would handle her new college environment did.

"A lot of time professors don't allow laptops in class remember thinking I haven't taken hand written notes in so long," Kayla said.

After the first week she says writing the notes with her feet was easier than carrying around a laptop just to write down notes.

"I marvel at everything she does and I don't think it's because she has a disability. She's a very accomplished young woman," said Judith Hunt, one of Kayla's professors.

"We joke about how she's here to make everyone look like a bum, all the things she's accomplished we can't compare," Asia Cleggett said.

In her first semester at Loyola, Kayla made the Dean's List. Dominic Minix has known her since middle school

"Kayla's was been able to adjust really quickly..I'm having a harder time adjusting to college than she is," he said.

People are so generous and warm around here. They'll wait for you to hold the door open. A lot of buildings are handicapped accessible so I only have to press a button to get in," Kayla said.

Kayla's mom says she's anxious about her daughter's next dream of independence.

"She's wanting more and more now to drive and we're actually looking into it," said Missy Allain.

 Kayla has avoided the use of prosthetic arms over the years but now she feels she's ready.

"They're so much more advanced now. They'll make life a little easier. I won't have to push the handicapped button, but just open the door. Why not?"

This psychology major living with a deck stacked against her has found a way to win despite the things she lives without.

"I'm thinking of having my own practice one day or maybe music therapy. There are so many different options out there.

Missy Allain is beaming with pride.

"She's grown into a beautiful young woman. We look forward to the next chapter," her mother said.

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