as told by her brother
Ryleigh Perry is a very special young lady who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the beloved daughter of Ryan and Shana Perry, and sidekick to her older brother, Jeron. Here’s her story, in 16-year-old Jeron’s words:
“Google defines disability as a ‘physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities’ or a ‘disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law.’ When I think of disability I don’t think of limited or disadvantaged, I think of courage.
I have a very important person in my life with disability. My younger sister, Ryleigh, has to live with a wide range of illnesses/conditions that she battles every day. Even though she is fighting disability and illness, she is one of the most loving and inspirational people I have ever met. I can say first hand, she is much more brave than I am as she fights these conditions every day. Ryleigh is my inspiration every day, she is always happy and willing to make you smile no matter what she is dealing with, something I could never do. It is impossible to describe how much I love her and what I would do to make her life just the slightest bit easier. Her battle is inspirational to me as I wish I had the courage and the strength to fight as hard as her and live life to the fullest the way that she does. Ryleigh has taught me amazing life skills and how to be a better person. I strive to be able to take care of her and provide for her when I’m older. I feel that it is my responsibility to always be there for her and give her the best life I can.
Ryleigh loves all types of technological devices such as laptops, iPads, phones, iPods, etc. Ryleigh has always been able to learn through these devices. My sister isn’t able to speak, so she has had to find other ways to communicate. Finding alternate ways to ‘talk’ is often a better option than a speech device that costs several thousands of dollars. We always provided Ryleigh with a laptop and iPad, but had never thought about getting her a phone. Not too long ago, my aunt stepped up and donated one of her old smartphones for Ryleigh to use. It’s been amazing! It has allowed Ryleigh to really communicate with all of her family for the first time, wherever we are. Her speech device only allowed her to communicate with the people she was face-to-face with. I can now tell my sister good morning no matter where I am, and she can say good morning back to me. The smartphone led to Ryleigh telling my aunt, over text, that she loved her for the very first time.
Ryleigh’s ability to open up by texting sparked an idea in my mind, and Ryleigh’s Voice was created. Ryleigh’s Voice is a not-for-profit charity that allows the public to donate used smartphones and tablets for people with special needs. These phones will help those with disabilities more than any of us without special needs can imagine, allowing them to learn and express themselves in many ways. Our goal is for other families to experience life-changing results as we have, by being able to better communicate and interact with their loved ones.
Thank you in advance for thinking about donating your used smartphones and tablets to Ryleigh’s Voice.”
CLICK HERE to learn how you can assist individuals with special needs.
CBS17 My Carolina host Joanna Heims interviewed Ryan Perry, CEO of ICG Homes and Jim Allen, President and CEO of The Jim Allen Group. They each shared with her their special connection to Ryleigh’s Voice, describing opportunities that are opened to individuals with special needs when they have the ability to communicate and access apps via smartphones and tablets.