The road to Baby Miss America

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Kallie Lewis is just like any typical three-year-old girl. She loves to dance, play with her toys and take selfies. But unlike most three-year-olds, what she has gone through to get here is more than any parent or child should ever have to go through.

Since birth, Kallie has undergone 19 surgeries including open heart surgery, coloplasty placement, a sternal repair, a balloon angioplasty and just two weeks ago, a rectal biopsy surgery.

"It took a toll on us but we have family that supported us and who got us through it," her mother Heidi Strickland-Lewis said.

After spending a majority of her life in the hospital, she will now be spending her time on stage competing in the Baby Miss American U.S.A. Patriot Pageant in Cincinnati on April 27.

Kallie was chosen as a contestant out of 4,800 entrees, and she is not stopping there. She was also asked to be the ambassador for Speedway for the Children's Miracle Network and will strut the runway in the Dillard's fashion show this month.

"Most people feel that individuals with Down Syndrome do not deserve to have a life," Strickland said. "That they're a burden on their families. And this shows that she's just like any other child. She deserves to do everything that ever child is given the chance to do."

Win or lose, it is no doubt Kallie's showing that extra chromosome who is boss.

If you want to help Kallie on her journey to the crown, there will be a fundraiser on March 31 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 9501 Jerusalem Road in Curtice. You can also visit their Go Fund Me Page for more information, too.

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