The Levi Miles Foundation was founded for the purpose of providing support and resources to children with disabilities and rare diseases, as well as, to promote acceptance and inclusion of all individuals within our communities. Our vision and compassion for these children comes from the relationship we were blessed to share with Levi Michael Miles. Levi suffered from a very rare disease called Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS). In his short life, Levi conquered many obstacles and broke down many barriers. Every day of his life, he battled severe pain, the ability to walk, the ability to speak, and the ability to eat. The things that Levi lost; we take for granted. The one thing Levi did not lose was the ability to love. Levi showed love to others despite his pain and loss of abilities. His smile brought pure joy to those around him. He was even a part of the PSSD toddler daycare class. You see… Levi was just a kid trapped in a disease-stricken body.
For centuries, humans have put a stigma on others that may look, speak, eat, smell, or feel different than that of the majority or “norm.” This stigma has led to the formation of groups to fight for equal rights. In today’s time, people that are outside the “norm” are considered different. This difference is often referred to as a “disability.” People with a disability have been segregated from those considered a part of the “norm.” This happens due to fear and misunderstanding, which creates a barrier that must be broken down! As humans, we all are the same on the inside, no matter what our outward appearance may precede.
In Matthew 18, the disciples asked Jesus who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus replies, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” (Matthew 18:3-5 NIV). The people in Levi’s life were able to see the portrait Jesus was painting through Levi’s unconditional love. This is the “why” behind our drive to aid and promote inclusion with children. Levi’s life is our inspiration! The kids in Levi’s daycare class did not see his loss of abilities. They saw his abilities through love and perseverance.
Through the Levi Miles Foundation, and with your help, we strive to break down the barriers between the disabled and the abled, so that everyone can experience the pure joy in our children’s hearts, and everyone is accepted with full inclusion.