Meet the 2023 Walk & Roll Ambassador,
Meet Gillette's 2023 Walk and Roll Ambassador
Walk & Roll - Gillette Children’s community and fundraising event and an annual favorite – will bring together hundreds of participants at Viking Lakes in Eagan, MN, and in neighborhoods throughout the country to move in support of Gillette.
At the heart of this year’s event is 11-year-old patient ambassador ZaLayaa Wandrick. A creative spirit and an excellent cook and crafter, ZaLayaa loves science, soccer and coding, and she brings her love of design and color to nearly every assignment.
Since she was an infant, ZaLayaa has experienced a variety of sensory and complex medical conditions almost as unique as her personality. These conditions manifest in multiple symptoms that impact her daily life, though to this day, their underlying cause remains a mystery.
“ZaLayaa's seen plenty of doctors in her life. It’s not like we aren't curious or actively trying to find answers,” ZaLayaa's mother, Jazzalette says. “We heard a lot of different theories and tried numerous treatments. Some were helpful. Some were not. After bouncing around for a while, we finally made it to Gillette and that made a world of difference.”
Gillette’s medical team brought a new approach to ZaLayaa’s care. Rather than focusing on solving the puzzle of her diagnosis, her care team started by addressing the real-life issues ZaLayaa was facing every day. She now sees more than 25 different medical providers at Gillette, receiving comprehensive evaluations with pediatric medicine and rehabilitation specialists, along with numerous physical and occupational therapy appointments.
A particularly helpful aspect of ZaLayaa’s care has been her appointments with Gillette’s therapeutic recreation specialists. Through their help, ZaLayaa’s world has opened up through accessible playground equipment and an adaptive bicycle. She’s been waterskiing, run from third base to home plate at a Minnesota Twins game, and impressed fellow golfers with her swing on the course.
Look for ZaLayaa on September 23, when she’ll rally and inspire the Gillette community to move and have fun. “I'm so excited to meet all the families and Gillette kids,” she says. “I can’t wait to see everybody there.”
Interested in being a future Walk and Roll Ambassador? Email firstname.lastname@example.org today! Read more stories of the incredible patients of Gillette Children's at Gillette Stories | Gillette Children's (gillettechildrens.org)