Courtesy of Lily Lautenschlager
If you haven’t heard her name, you’ve probably seen Lily Lautenschlager and her service dog, Kahoot around the school. Lily is a senior at East and was diagnosed at birth with Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome.
KTS is a condition where it affects the development of the blood vessels, soft tissues and bones. This causes one of Lautenschlager’s legs to bigger than the other one. It affects her circulation of my blood and lymphatic system. When she stands up all of her blood automatically drops to her feet.
“My stamina is super low,” Lautenschlager said. “I use my wheelchair for most distances and my balance is thrown off so I use Kahoot for that.”
Lautenschlager is involved in a multitude of activities and organizations around town. Inside Lincoln East, she has been a student council member for the last four years. Lautenschlager runs Wish Week which is one of East’s biggest fundraisers. She is apart of yearbook and ambassadors. Outside of East, Lautenschlager was the team captain of Nebraska Red Dawgs. The team participates in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Lautenschlager plays tennis and was the first wheelchair tennis player to make East team when she was a sophomore. She is ranked the 8th top wheelchair tennis player in the world. Not only does Lautenschlager dance but she teaches adaptive dance to kids with disabilities.
“My disability has nothing to do with what I can achieve in my life,” Lautenschlager said. “People say I’m an inspiration for what I have accomplished, not because of my disability.”
Five years ago, it was Lautenschlager’s turn for her Make A Wish, a non-profit organization that helps children with disabilities get their wish. Kahoot originally got his name when he was born into the app litter with his siblings Hulu, Netflix, Emoji, Siri, and Widget. After doing some investigations, Lily discovered his favorite colors are blues and greens. His favorite word is walk or grandma and grandpa.
“Oh my gosh,” Lautenschlager said. “He loves peanut butter. He knows when my brother is making peanut butter sandwiches and just sits there.”
Lily Lautenschlager is an inspiration for everyone around her. She is a human being just like anyone else. Lautenschlager continues to change how the media has viewed her disability day by day.