Can-do kids: Baylie Owen


Beverly Mendoza

Baylie Owen is the busiest 7-year-old we've ever met. At an age when we were busy playing hopscotch, Baylie is already famous.

You may have read about her in People magazine or seen her being interviewed on television. But it wasn't an easy road.

By the time she was 6, she had undergone four surgeries for two rare brain conditions-chiari malformation and pseudotumor cerebri. The former results when the back of the skull is too small, reducing pathways for spinal fluid and forcing the tonsils to protrude through the bottom of the skull.

It causes severe head and neck pain, vertigo, muscle weakness, vision problems, even paralysis. Pseudotumor cerebri literally means "false brain tumor" and has similar symptoms.

Baylie could have spent all her time complaining. But instead, she got to work. To help fund research, Baylie started making colorful bracelets and selling them for $5. Her signature color? Blue. Her middle name is Belewe, since she was born on a blue moon.

We caught up with Baylie and her mom, Tressie Owen, at the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine at the University of Chicago. She was visiting her surgeon, Dr. David M. Frim, for a checkup and to give him a check. To date, Baylie has donated $98,027. On Aug. 3, she presents another $12,000.

Order Baylie's bracelets at or buy them at Once Upon a Child stores. Catch Baylie on MSNBC's "Dayside" at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 9.

Do you know a kid age 14 and under who's done something amazing? E-mail names and information to [email protected]


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