Freshman McKenzie Reid doesn’t let obstacles slow her down


Courtesy photo

McKenzie Reid (right) performs in a musical.

Autumn Mann, Staff Writer

McKenzie Reid has accomplished so much in 14 years. She is involved in many different things that all contain music. Music has become a major part of her life. Reid has been in musicals, plays, dances, she sings in bars and restaurants, and she plays in many different bands. 

Reid does all this despite having three different health diagnoses Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of Autism). Spina Bifida is a birth defect where the spinal cord didn’t fully develop. This has caused limited feeling in feet, weakened muscles from the waist down, bladder and bowel paralysis, and same mental defects. Reid’s two main mental defects are Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome, which affects her socially.

Reid was diagnosed with Spina Bifida while her mom was pregnant with her. She was diagnosed with ADHD and Autism at age 12. She has had two surgeries so far and is preparing for another in the next few months. Her first surgery was to conceal her Spina Bifida, which was a bubble containing exposed nerves that had no spinal column to be contained in. Her second surgery was to insert a flap that would aid in the process of secreting bodily waste. Reid’s upcoming surgery will be to assist with her tethered Spinal cord, which could essentially bring back feeling to her feet.

Reid doesn’t let her health issues affect her passion. She’s a percussionist, and she recently started drumline. Singing, however, is a feat for Reid. More kids with Spina Bifida tend to have difficulties even speaking, therefore to have become this successful in singing is something she takes pride in. She currently is involved in theater, steel band, marching band, and concert band. However, her Spina Bifida does affect her ability in the theater, especially when she is in a musical. It affects her dance, but she has learned to strive to get better as the years go by.

Reid was in dance from age five-14 and recently quit to pursue more school activities, such as steel band. She was in her first theatrical performance at age two and doesn’t intend on quitting any time soon. She has always been involved in singing and dancing, and it was blubbering to the tune of the ABC’s before she could even speak full phrases. When she was younger, was hard for her to be accepted as one of the “normal kids.” She was in diapers until she was four because there were no medications at the time to help her.

When Reid grows up, she wants to be a fiction author and equality activist. She hopes to grow into her musical skills as she grows into adulthood. Her favorite things to do are to write, sing, act, and watch Motocross. She also likes to spend time with her pets, family, and friends. Her favorite musical she has been involved in is called 13: The Musical, where she played the supporting character, Richie Hammond. 

Reid states, “Although it gets tough to be optimistic with my diagnoses, I just remind myself that other people have it worse and that many people love me just how I am. Along with this, I’ve been bullied for these things which I have no control over. I’d never take away my diagnosis because my Spina Bifida makes me who I am, and I am perfectly me.” Reid has learned to deal with her diagnoses and make it a positive and use it as power. She has accepted that this is a part of her and that it always will be. So instead of it letting her down, she is going to use it as strength and push through any obstacle that stands in her way.