White Bear Lake Sisters Represent Minn. as 'Champions'

Updated: 11/28/2013 6:18 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

Two sisters from White Bear Lake who share a special bond, are representing Minnesota to the country.

Big sister Kaeli Harris likes to read to her little sister Lily; and Lily seems to love the attention.

It's been that way since Lily was born and quickly developed cerebral palsy. Kaeli was almost 4-years-old and she loved her sister from day one.

"Lily's brain damage is in her mobility and her speech. She can understand a lot of what we ask her or talk about and she can respond by smiling or not making gestures at all," said the girl's mother Adele Harris.

Lily is now 8-years-old and her mom says she has come a long way with help from specialists at Gillette Children's Hospital. So, when they noticed a problem with Kaeli's legs, they took her to Gillette too.

"Kaeli has normal walking function, but she has an internal twist on her thigh bone or femur and it's called excessive femoral aversion," said Dr. Deborah Quanbeck.

Doctors say she should be fine without surgery but they'll keep watching her as she grows. It was an extra scare for a family who already spends a lot of time at hospitals and clinics.

So when they found out both girls would serve together as champions from Gillette on a national level, they were thrilled.

"It was really cool to be a champion and especially with my sister because there are other families there with their siblings. But I was a champion with my sibling," said Kaeli.

Each state sends one child to Orlando and Washington, D.C. to be honored. The Harris girls were recognized for all they have overcome together. Back at home, they are just happy to play together.