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by Mayor Marsha McLean

Marsha McLean

A few weeks ago I met a very special young lady in our community named Sarah who is a 9th grader at Canyon High School.  Sarah has had a difficult life, coming into the world at just 2.31 pounds, and suffering from brain hemorrhage, cardiorespiratory arrest and major neurological dysfunction. In utero she had constant exposure to drugs and alcohol.  

By the age of 18 months, she had already passed through two foster homes and had begun having violent episodes of self-injuring. Her prognosis was poor and institutionalization seemed inevitable. That was until a Santa Clarita couple with five adopted special needs children met her. Sarah’s sparkling eyes stayed with them and ultimately, so did Sarah.

Because Sarah finds it difficult to make friends, she set out on a quest to meet new ones and at the same time, help people understand Autism. She does this by reaching out to people with a wrapped gumball and a small information card, while her mom snaps a photo for her to remember all her new friends. I met Sarah at a summer Town Hall Ice Cream Social held to acquaint residents with the City and City services.  I was so impressed with Sarah and her goals; I invited her to provide an invocation at a recent City Council meeting.

I am deeply touched by this young girl’s spirit, by the love this family has for children and by the amazing people who are part of this community.  Thank you Sarah for being my friend, and for helping to spread the important message of friendship and acceptance in Santa Clarita.

You can reach out to Sarah via her Facebook page at: I’m different, you’re different, let’s be friends or on her YouTube channel: LetsBeFriends. You can reach me via email at:


Marsha McLean

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Last updated: 10/1/2015 12:49:35 PM