North Shore girl overcame illness to become snowboard champ - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

North Shore girl overcame illness to become snowboard champ

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Kailey Bogart Kailey Bogart
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

There's no snow on Oahu's North Shore, so eight-year-old Kailey Bogart sharpens her skills on her skateboard.

"I think I'm good because I'm confident and I train good for it. I try my best at everything I do," she said.

Kailey is the reigning USA snowboarding national champion in her age group. She finished first in the halfpipe, first in slopestyle and giant slalom, and first overall. She said falling during a run is scary but not the end.

"I just get right back up and just send it," she said.

That sentence can sum up her young life. Kailey was five when she fell out of a hammock, hit her head, and was taken to the hospital. The bump wasn't the problem.

"They looked at some pictures and they actually saw something else," she said.

That something else was a blockage between her brain stem and her skull, a condition called chiari malformation.

Jesse Bogart said doctors caught his daughter's condition just in time.

"If it had gone on it could have caused some walking, talking, speech problems, vision problem, problems with balance coordination, and possibly paralysis," he said.

Surgeons cut away part of her skull and reduced a section of her brain. The delicate surgery took five hours.

"They actually fixed me up in no time," Kailey said.

A scar and a curvature of her spine are all that's left of the condition. She has an annual checkup.  So far so good. Her multiple first-place finishes prove the illness hasn't hampered her snowboarding skills.

"Being ranked number one and a national champ, it's humbling to us. We're really excited about what's coming up in the future for her," Jesse Bogart said.

If Kailey qualifies again, she'll defend her titles at the Nationals in Colorado next April. But she's looking over that horizon to the Olympics in eight to twelve years. We asked her how she'll get there.

"Well, I'm probably just going to do it," she said.

With her attitude and what's she's overcome, the sky is the limit.  To learn more about Kailey go to https://www.rallyme.com/rallies/369/kaileybogart.

 

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