Six years ago, with the help of a middle school teacher, Foussat created Tehyathon, Inc. — a non-profit that also helps the homeless.
Included is a program called Tenderness Totes which are survival packs that include food, toiletries and other emergency items that are handed out to the needy.
“I have a nickname for her – my ‘fragile warrior,’” said Christine Foussat, Tehya’s mom. “Her strength is a different kind of strength than most people think even though, physically, she has all her challenges.”
A perfect example of that was the event she helped organize Sunday at her school that used a 5K walk, games and music to raise awareness about spina bifida — the birth defect Foussat herself has battled for 18 years.
“I think if I didn’t have spina bifida I wouldn’t have met the people I’ve met – wouldn’t have experienced those things. In a way, I’m very fortunate,” said Foussat.
Sunday’s fundraiser was also supported by Make-A-Wish San Diego. The organization originally approached Foussat about a wish of her own. The teen said she did not want to use a wish for herself and instead asked Make-A-Wish for help in putting together Sunday’s event.
“All I can do is my best – and whatever happens, happens,” said Foussat.