A devoted Georgia father never imagined he’d be a pageant performer, but his 12-year-old wheelchair-bound daughter needed a dancing partner.
Mike Carey’s daughter McKenzie suffers from mitochondrial disease. Mitochondria store 90 percent of the body’s energy. The disease has left her unable to speak and walk.
McKenzie began entering beauty pageants at age 5. Her mother Tammy Carey said it was a good way to bond as mother and daughter and for McKenzie to make new friends. While she can’t speak, McKenzie understands those around her.
“We’re trying to figure out ways to help our daughter and help her enjoy life, and pageants give her an opportunity to be like other children,” Tammy Carey said.
She refuses to limit McKenzie to pageants for special needs kids, but she needed to find a way to help her daughter perform on-stage. That’s when he father came up with a brilliant idea.
“You leave it up to me,” Mike told his wife. “I wheeled her up on the stage and I did a wheelie across the stage and I picked her up [to dance]. ... I made up a dance in my head. The crowd went crazy.”
Mike held up McKenzie as they danced to Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”
“We are her voice and her legs,” Tammy told CBS 6 News. “My husband started doing these dances with her to inspire people, and she has inspired people and touched people’s hearts from all over the world.”