Dr. Rachel Baiyee-Cady, D.O. | Denver Kids Alumna
“It all started in 5th grade. I told my mom, ‘I want to be a doctor.’”
Even at an early age, Denver Kids alumna, Rachel Baiyee-Cady, knew what she had to do to get there. She got good grades, researched, and applied to undergraduate universities with good pre-med programs. In college, she got even more serious; she met people who were also pre-med – they would volunteer together, give each other suggestions, and be a general support system. Soon, it all fell into place when she was accepted into medical school.
Rachel has always been a go-getter, but it wasn’t always easy. When she was in elementary school, she and her three older siblings, along with her mom, were living in her grandmother’s basement. “We didn’t have a lot of things to do except hang out with each other and watch TV,” she recalls.
Then, Rachel was accepted into Denver Kids. She remembers when she first entered the program. She went to a lot of different events and camps, and met other students who could relate to her. She was also paired with her Educational Counselor Christa, who would visit her at school. “Every time [Christa] would come in, I just remember getting this feeling of excitement, and I was just so excited to see her like, ‘Oh Miss Christa’s back, Miss Christa’s back!’”
One day, Rachel’s mom got very sick and couldn’t move. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Rachel and her siblings had to cook and clean and not only be responsible for themselves, but their mother, too. After several years of immobility, her mother was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Another long while passed before her doctors found the right medication that allowed her to finally move on her own.
To Rachel, Denver Kids and her Educational Counselor, Christa, represented stability. Christa was always there to talk to. To see her and check up on her in a time that was constantly changing. Christa would always ask about her mom and how she was doing at home. Rachel’s academic performance wasn't Christa's only concern. And that mattered a lot to Rachel.
Rachel also valued the support she received from fellow Denver Kids students. “I knew that every summer I was going to see my friends from those camps or skiing trips and it was nice to be able to keep those connections instead of them degrading as time went on.”
Making connections is an important theme in Rachel’s life. With Denver Kids, she gained better communication skills from talking to other students and being in environments that required her to interact with other people. “At a lot of these camps I would meet people from different backgrounds who weren’t all people I usually hung out with at school," Rachel says.
With the stable foundation Rachel developed at Denver Kids, she was confident and prepared for medical school – and a very bright future. Denver Kids taught her to try new things, to get out of her comfort zone, whether she liked it or not.
“Now, I’m always open to trying new experiences and if I like it that’s awesome, and if I don’t, I’m happy that I tried it and at least experienced it.”
Today, Rachel is ready for her next new experience. This spring, she achieved her childhood dream of becoming a physician and graduated from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine – Harlem. Soon, she will start a new chapter as a Family Medicine Resident at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Rachel’s mother says, “I am so proud and happy for her, and I am so appreciative of the role Denver Kids was able to play in the various experiences and activities she had the opportunity to be a part of.”