A Fridley teenager is in a battle with her own brain. She suffers from constant seizures and no one knows how to stop them. FOX 9's Jody Ambroz sat down with Kayla and her family as she celebrates her sixteenth birthday milestone.
Every young girl dreams of her sixteenth birthday. The milestone is especially sweet for Kayla Borman. Her smile is just as bright as the candles on her cake. Kayla got the "Hawaiian luau" party she'd always wanted, but there's one wish she's still waiting for.
Linda Borman said, "She rarely complains about her seizures, but once in a while, she'll get up and she'll say, 'I wish I didn't have epilepsy,' and we wish she didn't, too."
Kayla's seizures started when she was just four years-old.
"As grandma says, she (Kayla) was very advanced," Peter Borman said. "She was a very precocious child."
Soon, the bright little girl who loved "Cinderella" needed a fairytale ending of her own.
"It's something I can't fix, and that's probably the hardest thing," Peter Borman said.
The seizures stole some of Kayla's speech and most of her childhood. Despite dozens of hospital stays and several pills a day, the seizures just won't stop. Linda Borman said, "We don't know what has caused them or what has started them."
In home video shared by Kayla's family, you can see how the seizures affect her. Kayla's eyes often flutter and her arms stiffen up. Her body may not shake violently, but it doesn't mean she's not suffering. Her seizures often show up several times a day.
Dr. Janice Hassumani, of Fairview's Fridley Clinic, treated Kayla as a toddler. She told FOX 9 most childhood seizures can be controlled with medication, but Kayla's condition is so rare and complex, even specialists are stumped.
Hassumani said, "The problem is: Most of her brain is causing these seizure activities. It's not just one little spot."
The continuous seizures have taken a toll.
"With Kayla, she's had these seizures over and over again so much, she hasn't had a chance to just function normally… her poor brain just hasn't learned to develop," said Hassumani.
The fear of the unknown turned into terror a few years ago. Kayla's condition got worse. She started slipping in and out of psychosis, creating a world only she could comprehend.
Peter Borman said, "It was very hard because it wasn't your kid, but you knew your kid was in there."
Thankfully, Kayla is no longer living in a constant state of psychosis, but the condition still sets in from time to time.
Kayla counts on guardian angels to watch over her at night. She has a collection of angels in her room.
Kayla said, "They help guard me in case I have a seizure."
Kayla never knows what the next day will bring. But she never gives up. Linda Borman said, "She looks like she's always happy, no matter what's going on in her brain."
Kayla wants to help other children, too. Every summer since 2008, Kayla has set up a lemonade stand in Fridley. The lemonade stands have helped raise over $4,000 dollars for the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota.
Kayla and her family are planning to set up another lemonade stand this summer in Fridley.
Kayla's Krew Fundraiser for Epilepsy Research
When: Saturday, August 4, 2012
Where: Schaff Floral and Gifts
6554 University Ave.
The Bormans aren't sure what Kayla's future holds -- but like Kayla's smile, her hope never fades. On her sweet sixteen, Kayla's still dreaming of a fairytale ending. Her family has faith that this year, her birthday wish will come true.