by BECCA BARR | photos by Alan Smith Photography

Sisterly Love

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Many little girls love horses, but for sisters Kylie and Aleah Hazard, riding has become a big part of their lives. They attend Ride Above Disability, a therapeutic riding center that teaches recreational horseback riding to people with special needs. Kylie, age 11, was born with Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that occurs in less than 1 in 10,000 children, mostly girls. The horseback riding has helped to develop her core strength and balance. Aleah, age nine, loves to ride as well.

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The girls live in Poway with their parents, Kimberly and Mike. Both girls have lived in Poway their whole lives. “I like living here because I love the outdoors and all the mountains and trees. It’s really beautiful,” said Kylie. Aleah chimed in, “Everyone is so nice.” The girls are especially fond of Lake Poway and the Sunday farmers market.

Kylie is nonverbal, but speaks with her eyes. “I speak not only with my expressions, but with an eye gaze technology, like the one on the TV show Speechless,” she said. She will attend Bernardo Heights Middle School in the fall, and loves music, dancing, hiking, and swimming. “Although she cannot speak and needs assistance with most things, she is so incredibly smart and happy,” shared Kimberly. “She adds so much joy, love, and insight to everyone she touches.” She’s inspired by her sister, who is her best friend.

Aleah will be in fourth grade this fall at Willow Grove Elementary. She loves math, writing, drawing, reading, and, of course, horses. “Aleah is a full-on boundless, positive energy,” said Kimberly. “She is a go-getter, super fun and active, and the most compassionate, accepting, and loving individual I have ever met.” She’s inspired by Neil Armstrong, and has dreams to become an astronaut on Mars. She also enjoys cooking, baking, and creating new recipes.

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Above all, both girls are kind. “My favorite thing about school is the ‘buddy bench’ because it helps kids to make new friends when they feel lonely,” Aleah said. “I have a huge heart and am super accepting of others and love making friends everywhere I go,” added Kylie. “If you see me around town, say hi and smile. And if you have questions about me just ask me and my family and don’t stare. Just be friendly in return and treat me the way you would want to be treated… with loveand kindness.”


At-A-Glance

Aleah Hazard
Name: Aleah G. Hazard (9)
School: Willow Grove Elementary
Grade: 4th this fall
Favorite Place in 92064: Poway Lake

Kylie Hazard
Name: Kylie Hazard (11)
School: Bernardo Heights Middle School

Grade: 6th this fall
Favorite Places in 92064: Poway Library and the farmers market on Saturdays