'Ainsley's Angels' celebrate Ainsley Rossiter's life - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

'Ainsley's Angels' celebrate Ainsley Rossiter's life

(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)
(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)
(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)
(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)
(Source: Kristine Seaward/Family) (Source: Kristine Seaward/Family)

Several people gathered at Prien Lake Park at the Indian Bay Pavilion Sunday afternoon to honor and celebrate the life of 12 year-old Ainsley Rossiter by remembering her with a balloon release -- not just here in Lake Charles, but across the country.

The goal behind "Ainsley's Angels'" is "to see the wind in their face and light up their smile," said Kristine Seaward, one of the co-founders and Ainsley's aunt, as well as partner individuals with disabilities with an able-bodied teammate to compete in races.

The idea began after Ainsley and her father discovered their love for competing together after she was diagnosed with Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD) that eventually left her wheelchair bound.

"They started doing 5Ks, 10Ks, they did half marathons, full marathons and to date she had done a 100 marathons prior to her passing," Seaward said.

Ainsley passed away on Tuesday, February 23 at the age of 12.

Seaward said Ainsley's disabilities never stopped her from living life to the fullest and gave their family a mission to help others.

"It's completely life changing for these families. Instead of sitting at home and waiting for when the next treatment is going to be, or when the next doctor's appointment is they actually have something to look forward to on Saturday morning. They can go be a part of a team, they can have the ability to not sit on the sidelines," she added.

Inclusion is something that's important for 13-year-old Celeste's mother, Deena Landreneau, "Always make sure that you include your child with everything," she said.

Something that Amanda Turner said she feels thanks to the organization.

"In this organization, they use the word "family" a lot and you're truly family. There's no difference between you and the person pushing you,'" said Turner who was born with cerebral palsy and is now an Angel Rider for the organization. 

Turner said the races become life lessons.

"There's a story that comes out of every race, from the start line to the finish line, there's always a story; some of them are funny and some of them are serious but I like to tell the one of people with disabilities in the community being able to overcome things and achieve things that nobody ever thought they could,' she explained.

Now, the organization created in Ainsley's honor is helping thousands across the country.

"This organization does more than just racing, it gives people with disability a voice, and that's the most important part," Turner said.

The organization has four chapters across the state, one right here in Lake Charles, Monroe, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge and several across the country.

For more information click, HERE or visit www.ainsleysangels.org.

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