Riley Moore, Desoto, KS

Riley Moore, who will attend Kansas State University in the fall to major in finance/accounting, has always had a love for math. She remembers asking for math problems to solve on the long rides from Witchita, Kansas to her PKU Clinic in Denver, and graduated from there to Yatzee, board and dice games. While this love of math will serve her well as she pursues her major, she also recognizes how it has helped her maintain her diet successfully: weighing foods, calculating phe, and logging her intake.  She says her parents encouraged her love of math by helping her remember that, “math is fun — and healthy.”

A very successful and engaged student, Riley is Senior Class President, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook, and Cheer Team Captain.  She also plays flute in the band and acted in her school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. In service to her school, she is part of the Principal’s Council, a group of students who help shape the school’s activities, and a member of the Ambassadors & Mentors Club, which meets monthly to help guide freshman as they get used to high school.

Ranked 20th in her class, Riley is a member of the National Honor Society, was on the Honor Roll for 7 semesters, and received an Excellent rating at the Kansas Junior Academy of Science for her experiment examining how lima beans grow in different soil mixtures. She maintained an excellent GPA while taking six AP courses, and was name a Kansas Honor Scholar her Senior Year. Outside of school, Riley volunteers as an assistant for the Lexington Trails Middle School’s cheerleading program, and works as a babysitter.

Kuvan has significantly increased Riley’s phe tolerance, but she continues to track her phe intake very closely, working to hit her target number each day. She credits family and school support with making managing PKU easier. Riley’s older sister has PKU as well, so she has always known she’s not alone. In Riley’s words, “perhaps this is what constitutes coping with PKU: effective organization, family and school support, and a big sister to lead the way.”

Riley’s family has provided support to other families dealing with a new diagnosis of PKU, and they’ve also met with students pursuing careers that intersect with PKU, and these experiences have given her perspective, “PKU has shaped me into a better, more caring, more observant version of who I might have been.”  One of the teachers at her school with whom Riley has worked closely says, “Riley maintains a positive attitude and never complains about the limitations of PKU. The way she overcomes this disorder is the same way she approaches life: with determination and optimism.”