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Beyond the Field: Meet Daisah Kaney

Updated: Sep 25, 2023


Daisah Kaney is a 14-year-old like no other. You won’t find this young girl scrolling endlessly on social media or spending her time trying to get the perfect pictures to post on her Instagram. Instead, just last week, Daisah could be found at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora,Illinois saving lives and helping others. She explains that her family firmly believes in giving back to the community and finds importance in helping others. Not only that, but she is an active member of the DCFS Youth Advisory Board, a group of children who have been in foster care. Together, they work and advocate for improving the foster care system.


Though Daisah can seem to be the most positive and happy person, it wasn’t always this way. At seven years old she lived in four different foster care home placements and a couple of different respite homes until she was 13. Though she was familiar with her former foster parents, she often felt trapped and uncomfortable. During these years Kaney found herself at her lowest point in life mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In 2019, Daisah was introduced to the Kaney children from a respite caretaker who was good friends with the family. For Daisah, it was the moment she cried and prayed for several years. Finally on November 7th, 2022, the Kaney family officially welcomed Daisah as one of their own.


Before finding her forever home with the Kaney’s, Daisah was in search of a spiritual home. Though Dasiah has known God her entire life - from her biological mother and various foster care homes, she did not have much of a connection. It was not until July 30th, 2021 when the Kaney’s brought her to a youth church camp, that she felt God’s presence. She finally understood that all the times she cried all the times and thought she was alone, God had been with her the entire time. That day became Dasiah’s spiritual birthday, which she celebrates every year to reflect on how much she has grown. Not long after her first spiritual birthday, Dasiah received baptism and gave her life to Christ at Mission Bible Church and Restoration Christian Church.


Outside of church, Kaney spends much of her time staying physically active. During elementary school, she often got a kick out of racing her classmates during recess, especially since she had a knack for being faster than the boys. In 5th grade, the Kaney family introduced her to Track and Field which would become more than a sport — it was a place for growth, determination, friendship, and the making of many fond memories. Through her middle school years at Minooka Jr. High, she ran the 100m Hurdles, 100m Dash, and the 4 x 100 meter relay. However, when Daisah didn't qualify for IESA state for the 100m hurdles in May, she took it to heart. Even though her relay team qualified for the 4x100m relay, she desperately wanted to prove herself as an accomplished individual athlete.


Soon enough Daisah discovered Prestige Athletic Club this summer with Coach Nate Atkinson through another athlete, Ethan González. Daisah states that her first day took her by surprise because she was not used to working that hard. This summer, Daisah has one goal in mind: to make it to the Junior Olympics with Prestige Athletic Club. Two months after her failure to qualify for state in the 100m hurdles, she now has reason to celebrate. On June 25th, Daisah finished in the top twelve for her event at the USATF Illinois Junior Olympics Championships and qualified for the USATF Region 7 Junior Olympic Championships. While she made it to the Regional Championship, she did not advance to the Junior Olympics. Even after her loss, she remained in good spirits and looks to redeem herself next summer.


Though she has lived through several highs and lows, Daisah never lets her sunshine get cloudy. She continues to learn and grow. One could argue she’s already a role model at such a young age because of her leadership, respectfulness, honesty, courage, mental and physical strength, and her outgoing personality. As Daisah enters her freshman year, she is looking forward to joining clubs such as Drama, Art, Sports, Speech, and taking all honors classes this fall. She predicts that the next four years will be her golden years. In the future, Kaney has hopes of making it to the big screen as an actress — but not for the sake of being famous. According to Daisah, she wants to make an impact where it counts. For her, that means having an emotional impact and change peoples’ hearts, just as her life was transformed when she met the Kaney family and found God within.

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