Humor, Homework and Healing

November 3, 2015
Topics: Riley Staff Profiles, Riley Champions

jeff w blog image

“You are more boring than watching grass grow!” 

“Yeah, well, you are way more boring than watching paint dry!” 

There is a quiet pause for a second or two; Kaelyn Staggs looks me straight in the eyes with an eager grin. “You are the Princess of Boring!” Ever since she uttered those words, the nickname has stuck. Okay, this may seem immature for a grown man to argue with a third grader, but in my defense, she started it!

This type of banter was all too common between Kaelyn and me, but that is what I enjoyed most about working with her during school sessions at Riley Hospital. Despite her adversities, Kaelyn is girl full of life, humor, and feistiness! She has a smile that is authentic and quite contagious; it is impossible not to be in a good mood when around her.

Along with Kaelyn’s jovial personality, I admire her unyielding courage and perseverance.  I am in awe of her ability to find the positive in situations, in life. I have a sign in my office that reads, “Princess Boring.” Yes, it makes me smile because of the laughs Kaelyn and I shared, but I have kept it on my wall all this time because it reminds me to stay encouraged, stay focused, and stay resilient.

I am not surprised that Kaelyn was chosen as a 2016 Riley Champion; she exemplifies optimism, leadership, and so much more. Kaelyn, like all Riley patients, is a champion and deserves recognition for her courage and resiliency. It’s an honor to be Kaelyn’s “Princess Boring.”
Our goal in the Pediatric Rehab Unit and in Riley Hospital for Children is to help change the lives of these kids; however, it is quite remarkable how they change us more than we may ever realize.

Jeff Wedding

Jeff Wedding has been working with the Riley School Program since 2012. He was a special education teacher for three years prior to joining Riley. The native of Avila, Ind., studied elementary/special education at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne.

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