An Inspirational Young Woman

| April 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

Tehya Foussat earned the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and the “Heart of Our School Award” from Cathedral Catholic High School.

Tehya Foussat was born with the most severe form of Spina Bifida. Lipomyelomeningocele occurs when the spinal cord is exposed through an opening in the spine, resulting in partial or complete paralysis of parts of the body. The paralysis may be so severe that the affected individual is unable to walk, and he or she may have other issues affecting neurological function.

However, Foussat, and her parents didn’t let this stop her from living a full life. She he grew up without boundaries and there was no activity or sport that was beyond her reach. Soon the girl who wasn’t supposed to walk became a competitive cheerleader, gymnast and swimmer.

She did have setbacks. A few months after her third spinal cord surgery, her medical condition mysteriously deteriorated and she started to lose function. She was no longer able to walk or run, and she suffered from debilitating headaches, neck and back pain, and several other neurological deficits. She was no longer able to attend school regularly and was tutored at home.

Although she missed many days of school due to severe pain and illness, she was able to maintain her 4.0 grade point average. Foussat went on to run for ASB president and won the honor to represent her school. As the year passed, she continued to struggle through painful days, but she made it through and actually received two awards at her graduation ceremony.

Additionally, Foussat and her former teacher, Martin Reisert, started Tehyathon, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, whose purpose is to raise funds to increase awareness of Spina Bifida. The organization offers support to patients and their families who live with the challenges of Spina Bifida and its related conditions.

Because of her inspirational actions, Cathedral Catholic High School, Outreach Through Dance, Feeding the Soul Foundation, and Make-A-Wish San Diego are helping Foussat fulfill her vision to create a day of inspiration and celebration with Tehyathon, a 5K Fundraiser, an Inspiration Walk, and a Celebration Concert. The event takes place from 2 to 8 p.m., Sunday, April 21 at Cathedral Catholic High School, 5555 Del Mar Heights Road

She found her strength when it was so difficult to continue; she used her talents to compensate for her medical condition, and she is sharing her gifts to support the Spina Bifida community and provide loving care to the homeless and those in need.  For more information, please visit

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