SEATTLE—Life's never been easy for Joey Kane. He's had to work to be accepted. He's had to work to master things his peers find simple.
Life has never been easy for Joey, but he works day in and day out to make sure life is easier for others. "That's his gift," explains Suzanne Lewis, Joey's tutor since kindergarten. "He's wonderful with people, especially the elderly and the homeless as well. He just naturally loves everyone."
And they love him.
Several times a week, after putting in countless hours keeping up with his class work at West Seattle's Holy Rosary School, Joey volunteers at a homeless shelter and at a retirement home. "He'd go everyday if we had the time, he'd try to go everyday," says Joey's mother, Ginny Kane.
Joey's dedication is impressive. "It's phenomenal as a 7th grader the amount of volunteer hours he puts in, it's amazing," says Lewis.
So impressive, even Seattle's mayor took notice. "When we got the news, tears came to my eyes," says Kris Brown, Joey's principal at Holy Rosary School. "I was just so excited."
Joey's been picked as one of several mayoral scholars--kids who've overcome great odds to achieve great things. It just took some convincing for joey to realize he fit the bill. "One of the questions he had to answer was what challenges he had and he couldn't think of any," says Joey's mother.
She wouldn't have it any other way. "That is the way I want him to see his life, not as someone with a disability, but just as a regular old kid," says Ginny Kane.
A regular old kid, who is anything but regular. "A lot of people don't expect things from Joey, but it's just showing the world how much he has to give," says Lewis.
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will recognize Joey and about two dozen more outstanding kids at a ceremony Tuesday, May 11th.
Each child gets $500 to use for school or to donate to the charity of their choice.
Joey plans to split his award right down the middle between the retirement center and the homeless shelter where he volunteers.