Kaylee Halko appears on ‘Dr. Oz’ showWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Move over, Madonna and Cher. There’s a new one-name, internationally known celebrity: Kaylee.
The 6-year-old from Monclova was in New York City with her parents, Tim and Marla Halko, last month to appear on “The Dr. Oz Show.”
“Our hotel was real close to Times Square, so we walked around there,” Tim said. “We had a lady from Africa who was visiting her brother in the U.S. for the first time come up and point at Kaylee and say, ‘Kaylee.’ She didn’t speak English, but her brother said that she was telling him that she saw Kaylee’s documentary back in Africa.
“She was excited and was kissing Kaylee’s hand and asked if she could get a picture with Kaylee to take back to show her friends.”
That documentary, “6 Going on 60,” premiered on TLC in December. The film starred Kaylee and Lindsay, two of 62 children in the world who have progeria, a rare, fatal condition characterized by accelerated aging caused by a gene mutation.
Staff from “The Dr. Oz Show” saw the film and contacted the Halkos in February.
“We decided it would be a good way to raise awareness; it’s a respected show,” Marla said.
Tim said, “Kaylee had a great time during the taping, and the Dr. Oz staff loved her.”
“Kaylee liked being on the show. She did a cheer and everything. She says she’s a star,” Marla said. “She ran around the studio with the staff for about an hour. She said, ‘Mom, I’m big; I’ve got it.’”
“Everyone was so taken with Kaylee, her spirit, her energy and also her incredible parents,” a production representative from “The Dr. Oz Show” wrote in an e-mail. “Kaylee got the chance to roam our studios and met with just about all of our staffers — from our stage managers and stagehands to our executive producers in the control room. She was a big hit.”
The Halkos will be on “The Dr. Oz Show” at 5 p.m. March 8 on WNWO, the local NBC affiliate.
The 15-minute segment also will feature the University of Michigan’s Dr. Jeffrey Innis, the physician who diagnosed Kaylee in 2004, and Dr. Leslie Gordon, medical director of the Progeria Research Foundation Inc.
“We are thrilled that such a popular and well-respected medical show sees the value of progeria research, not only for children like Kaylee, but for the entire aging population,” Audrey Gordon, president and executive director of the Progeria Research Foundation, wrote in an e-mail. “Such vast exposure will inevitably help to raise awareness of progeria, as we seek to find and help all of these wonderful children throughout the world.”
“[We hope viewers will have] a better awareness of what progeria is and how important it is to work toward a cure so that people like Kaylee will be with us for a long time,” a production representative from “The Dr. Oz Show” wrote in an e-mail.