Fifteen year old Trista Reid Delivers, Despite Battling Rare Brain Disease

by shannonw
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    Londoner, Trista Reid wants to end homelessness – a big aspiration for a girl who is just shy of her 16th birthday.

    Instead of birthday gifts, Trista asked friends and family to donate backpacks and school supplies to help local children start the school year with the tools they need to succeed.

    “I’ve always had a passion to help the homeless,” says Trista. “I realized how many kids are without…education is very important to me.”

    Trista has been donating to the ‘Rock Back to School’ Campaign since she was 10 years old. The Salvation Army, Classic Rock 98.1, United Way and the Thames Valley Education Foundation collaborate every summer to help over 3,000 students who need assistance.

    “Even when she was down and out, in the hospital, she fought back to pull today off.”

    This year, despite being a difficult one for Trista due to health reasons, she still managed to collect 251 backpacks–each one full of school supplies.

    Trista’s dad, Rob Reid says his daughter continues to leave their family speechless with her compassion to help others who are less fortunate.

    “There are no words for it,” says Reid. “We are extremely proud of her. Family, friends, colleagues and some local businesses all helped out.”

    Trista was diagnosed with a rare brain disease earlier this year and was unsure if she would be able to carry on her birthday tradition.

    “With the challenges she’s faced this year, we weren’t sure she was going to be able to because of her rare brain disease,” says Reid. “Even when she was down and out, in the hospital, she fought back to pull today off.”

    Small but mighty – that’s how Trista’s Grandmother, Shirley describes her.

    “She’s got the biggest little heart I’ve ever seen in my life.”

    Trista will celebrate her sweet sixteen on September 1st.

    “This program helps with self-esteem. Education will set kids up for a better future. This is a birthday gift to myself.”

     

    By Shannon Wise | shannon_wise@can.salvationarmy.org