Big dreams for a little girl

April 4, 2008 5:31:02 PM PDT
She was featured Friday of ABC's "Person of the Week," a little girl from Houston with quite a story. Because of cerebral palsy, she has little physical control of her body, but 10-year-old Jemma Leech has a lot to say. Her teachers at Mark Twain elementary school in Houston have been blown away by Jemma's writing, and they're not alone.

"I remember in London the winters were warm and wet," read Jemma's mother, Caroline Leech.

They are recollections of a memory.

"Just rainy guboot-puddled walks in Brockwell Park," Carolina continued.

It's a poem written down in sophisticated prose.

"Swapping the dry dark with the wet light."

But these aren't the words of a famous author, rather a little girl with quite a gift.

"Hi, my name's Jemma," Jemma said to us though a computer. "What's yours?"

Jemma was born with cerebral palsy, unable to talk and write. This is how she expresses herself.

"I'm a writer. I write poetry and I write stories and music, too," said the computer for Jemma.

Using a special computer, she guides her mother's hand to say exactly what's on her mind.

"I know that there is so much in there that it will take years to find out about," said Caroline.

And Jemma has a lot to say.

"We disappeared into the secret garden underneath palisades of sleeping creeping clematis," Caroline read from her daughter's writing.

Her poem, 'A Harwarden Grove Christmas,' recently won the ten-year-old a writing competition in London. At Mark Twain elementary school, her classmates are constantly amazed.

"You have to actually take time to look them and they can really be amazing, like Jemma is," said classmate Allison Powers.

"There's a maturity there and an artistic ability in the way she plays with her words," added Kathy Johnson, Jemma's teacher.

The school district is so impresses with Jemma that they're currently looking to buy her a new computer, one that is guided by her eyes. The hope is that she can produce her beautiful poetry with no help at all.

"It gives me the opportunity to fly and run and sing," said Jemma.

Big dreams for a little girl.

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