Leeya is at The University of Tennessee and majoring in Business Analytics with a concentration in International Business. She would like to pursue a future career within a children’s hospital, specifically in administration. After being diagnosed with Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly (GLA) at 15 years old, Leeya dealt with a complication which led to hospitalization for about a month.
While dealing with this and a rare disease that none of her doctors had seen before, Leeya and her parents really had to learn how to advocate for themselves. Over the next few months, they all had to adjust to their new normal of her pain, the daily medication, the specialists, and the unknown. She says, “The best thing that has come out of all of this is truly finding my place in life.”
Leeya has found a true passion in advocacy. She wants to help improve communication between children's hospitals as well as inpatient and outpatient services. Leeya has advocated on Capitol Hill two times on behalf of children’s healthcare and rare diseases. Leeya believes that she can use what her family has gone and will continue to go through, to make change in the rare disease community and in the hospital world.