Despite her own medical condition, Aaliyah Williams sells T-shirts to raise money for others facing serious medical issues.
Born with extensive heart complications, Aaliyah Williams never stops smiling.
Misty Piaget, her mother and an Okaloosa County sheriff's deputy, and Victor Sellers, owner of NPC Muscle for Heart, agreed.
"And she does not complain," Piaget said. "We have to drag it out of her."
Williams was in the Intensive Car Unit when she decided she wanted to give back to the community that helped her. She designed a T-shirt and donated all of the profits to Dan Eslinger, who is on the transplant list.
Last week, she presented the proceeds at the NPC Muscle for Heart competition, and she is continuing to raise funds for other charities through T-shirt sales.
"I just like giving back and helping people," Williams said. "It makes me happy. "
Williams was a baby when Piaget noticed something was wrong. Williams was only waking up every 12 hours to eat. They took her to the hospital and she was diagnosed SVT, which means that her heart was beating faster than it should, Piaget said.
At 16, Piaget came home and saw her daughter had blue lips. After speaking with the doctors, they realized her condition was worse than they originally thought. Her case was complex because it was all over her heart rather than in a particular location. She needed surgery and the next step was a pacemaker.
But, shortly after the pacemaker was installed, she began getting shocks from it.
That doesn't stop her from following her dreams.
Williams wants to grow up to be a cardiologist or heart surgeon. She said whenever she's at the doctor's office, she's always asking questions. She said that while she is undecided on where she wants to head to college, she's a is a huge fan of Alabama.
"I am not joking. She will get up early in the morning to watch ESPN during football season," Piaget said.
Because of the pacemaker, Williams is limited in the sports she can play, but she is hoping to run track and also plans to compete with Piaget in the NPC Muscle for Heart bodybuilding competition. Eslinger offered to coach her for the competition, Sellers told her during the interview.