Wednesday, February 26 2014, 07:03 PM EST
Stephanie Radzyminski - Making Her Daughter's Big Dreams A Reality
There is nothing more precious than the bond between a mother and child.This week's ‘Pay it Forward’ recognizes a devoted mom who has poured her love into her daughter, giving her only child the confidence to know that with hard work and determination anything is possible.
NewsChannel 9 has been following Kaylee Radzyminski and her mother, Stephanie, since 2005 when the high school sophomore created a community project called “Tunes 4 the Troops.”
With her mother's help Kaylee shipped more than 1,050,000 cd's and dvd's to troops stationed around the world. She was named a CNN hero in 2008, graduated from Tennessee Tech University on an Army ROTC scholarship and was recognized in ‘Glamour Magazine’ as one of the Top Ten College Women in America.
When we recently contacted Stephanie to meet us for an interview she thought we were working on story about Kaylee’s most recent milestone.
Stephanie tells me, "Last May she (Kaylee) was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Army, and she's a Military Intelligence Analyst. She just finished training out at Fort Whuachuca, Arizona... She's doing exactly what she wants to do. She served the troops all the way through high school and all the way through college through her donations and all of her hard work and now she's serving the troops in a completely different way."
The proud single mom smiles as she tells me that next week Kaylee will deploy on her first overseas mission to Afghanistan.
It's then that I know we must pull out our laptop and reveal the real reason we are there.Pressing play I say, "I just want to get your opinion on something."
The screen shows a familiar face via a Skyped message all the way from Arizona.
In full military uniform Kaylee exclaims, "Hi mom! On behalf of McMahan Law Firm and NewsChannel 9 I want to 'Pay it Forward' to you. And, the reason is because over the years you sacrificed so much for me. You have put up with me, love me, and you've gotten me to where I am today. I just want to say thank you so much! I love you!"
I lean forward and pull out five crisp $100 bills. I say, "Kaylee cannot be here today to help recognize you, so, on Kaylee's behalf, Stephanie, (here's) $100, $200, $300, $400, $500."
Tears begin to roll down Stephanie's face."How did I get such a wonderful child?" she asks.
Looking down once more at the computer screen Stephanie pauses and reflects, "Love just doesn't even begin to express how I feel for her."
It's clear that across the years, the miles, and all the memories that are still in the making - this mother daughter bond will never, ever be broken.