We Walk for Kyle


Kathleen Shaffer, Staff Writer

For almost a full semester, they got to know someone with a vivid imagination and a spark they would never forget. Kyle Witt was involved in the Partner’s PE program and after he passed away at the end of October, his classmates decided the best way to honor him would be to host a walk and raise money for the National Mucopolysaccharidosis Society in his name.

Donating money to the National MPS Society was a way for the community to help others suffering from MPS-related diseases, as Kyle passed away due to complications from Hunter disease. We Walk for Kyle took place on Saturday, Dec. 8 and was able to raise $3,010 for this cause.

One of the biggest struggles the class faced was getting the word out in a short amount of time, but coach Cynthia Zea said her expectations were exceeded.

“It was even more than I had expected,” Zea said. “When you don’t have a registration process, it’s just word of mouth, and you never really know who’s going to show up. But when we were standing out on that track we saw people coming in from all directions – from the parade, from the street, from the parking lot. It was just the best thing to see.”

Zea worked to find sponsors and used her position to help organize the walk, but she said she acted more as coordinator and that it was really some of the students in her third period Partner’s PE class that got the process going. The students in the class came together and have hope that this walk will motivate other students.

“What motivated me was seeing the emotions coming from my peers around me and having the feeling inside that Kyle wasn’t there anymore,” senior Daniel Katani said. “Later, thinking about the whole situation and praying about it gave me an idea to create something in Kyle’s name so that everyone would have the opportunity to know such an amazing person, as the kids in Partner’s PE had. Relying on my faith to point out a way to do this, I knew a walk would be the best way to get many of the students and teachers from the school to come out and support. I think this walk will influence other students to come together. I believe this will influence kids our age by giving them confidence that something that might seem impossible can work out in the end and give them knowledge that you don’t have to be an adult to make something great happen.”

The amount of money raised through We Walk for Kyle was only one of the goals the group had. They were motivated to honor Kyle’s mother, both of her children passed away due to Hunter disease.

“Our main goal was for Ms. Witt to walk and to see all the different people and let her know her kids were on this Earth for an important reason,” Zea said. “It let his mom know how much we cared about him, and how much his life changed our lives.”

There may be a walk this time next year, but for senior Yeesoo Lee this single event is already one of her most memorable moments. Lee was able to get to know Kyle.

“Through Kyle’s death and planning this walk, I was reminded how every day is precious,” Lee said. “We complain about all these little things when things don’t go our way, but working with these kids and seeing what Kyle went through reminds you that these days aren’t promised. It’s all very humbling.”