Inspiring local High School Teacher heads to Chicago for Maratho - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Inspiring local High School Teacher heads to Chicago for Marathon

Posted: Updated:
Millayna Klingback Millayna Klingback
SPOKANE, Wash. - Millayna Klingback is a French and English teacher at Mt Spokane High School, and she has spent the last few months training for the upcoming Chicago Marathon.

And, in addition to running the Chicago Marathon, she is simultaneously raising money for the Phoenix Society, a non-profit organization that supports burn victims. And this is an organization that is very near and dear to Millayna's heart.

Millayna sports a phoenix tattoo on her foot because she had to "rise above" a terrible cooking accident that left 2nd degree burns on 13% of her skin in December 2007.

"I remember going into shock right away," said Millayna. "Because I had this surreal experience telling myself, don't look down...I didn't want to see how bad it was."

Millayna didn't want any pictures taken of her from her time healing in the hospital.

"I didn't want pictures because I didn't want to know, didn't want to remember," she said. "I just didn't want this to be happening, and if there was no record, it'd be easy to forget."

But, during her long physical and emotional recovery, she realized this event would be impossible to forget. And, Millayna decided instead to embrace her new scars, and move forward with a new attitude.

"The thing about a burn, or debilitating, deforming injury [like this] is once you get over fighting to live, once that's settled, then you have to fight to 'live' in your life, with this thing you can't hide from," explained Millayna.

Millayna started to focus far less on her physical appearance - something, at the end of the day, is completely out of all of our control. She instead now focuses on her listening skills and ability to connect with the people she encounters in her life - what she brings from her heart.

"My scars are part of my story," Millayna said. "And they're what make me more beautiful. I have this depth, I wear it around."

And now, Millayna's scars are her most prized vulnerability. Embracing them allows her to more whole-heartedly and genuinely connect with her high school students, who, like Millayna did after her accident, often deal with physical insecurities during their high school years.

"If we all take the time to break down the walls and be a little vulnerable, so many people would feel less alone, and that's one of the reasons why I'm doing this race," she said.

Her students said that Millayna's experiences make her a more inspiring and understanding teacher.

"She's taught us not to be ashamed of what happens in life," explained one of her French students, Ileisa Oleson. "You have to deal with it, find something inspirational about it, and make it better."

Another one of her French students, Jeff Updike said Millayna teaches her students that "no matter how broken down you are, you have to get back up."

Because, whether you are running through the halls of a high school, or running 26.2 miles through Chicago, it's hard to even see what's at surface. And, what's at surface level really does pale in comparison to everything else.

"I can lose my looks even more than I already have," said Millayna. "But my brain and heart, nobody can take that - investing in that, you're going to get all your money back and more."

If you're interested in learning more about Millayna and the Phoenix Society, you can look at her donations page here: http://www.active.com/donate/teamphoenixchicago14/millayna

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-04-24 16:41:55 GMT

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>
  • Pierce County woman wakes up to stranger in her house rubbing her face

    Pierce County woman wakes up to stranger in her house rubbing her face

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:11 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:11:05 GMT

    PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pierce County woman was terrified over the weekend when she woke up to a stranger in her house rubbing her face. She ran to her neighbor's house and the neighbor contacted the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Arriving deputies spoke with the neighbor who called 911. 

    >>

    PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pierce County woman was terrified over the weekend when she woke up to a stranger in her house rubbing her face. She ran to her neighbor's house and the neighbor contacted the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Arriving deputies spoke with the neighbor who called 911. 

    >>
  • Thief steals military man’s gift for little brother

    Thief steals military man’s gift for little brother

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 2:09 AM EDT2018-04-24 06:09:15 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane mother is heartbroken because what a thief took from her family was so much more than just a piece of mail. One of her sons serving in the military, stays connected with his little brother through video games, so he sent him one as a gift. However, the little brother never got it because the thief took it right off their front porch.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane mother is heartbroken because what a thief took from her family was so much more than just a piece of mail. One of her sons serving in the military, stays connected with his little brother through video games, so he sent him one as a gift. However, the little brother never got it because the thief took it right off their front porch.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Court orders judge to free rapper Meek Mill on bail

    Court orders judge to free rapper Meek Mill on bail

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:54 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:54:53 GMT

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania's highest court has ordered a judge to free rapper Meek Mill on bail while he appeals decade-old gun and drug convictions.    The Supreme Court directed a Philadelphia judge who had jailed him to immediately issue an order releasing him on unsecured bail.    Mill was sentenced in November to 2-4 years in prison for violating probation.

    >>

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania's highest court has ordered a judge to free rapper Meek Mill on bail while he appeals decade-old gun and drug convictions.    The Supreme Court directed a Philadelphia judge who had jailed him to immediately issue an order releasing him on unsecured bail.    Mill was sentenced in November to 2-4 years in prison for violating probation.

    >>
  • Bob Dorough of 'Schoolhouse Rock' is dead at 94

    Bob Dorough of 'Schoolhouse Rock' is dead at 94

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:51 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:51:21 GMT

    MOUNT BETHEL, Pa. - A musician whose songs helped teach children on ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock" has died. His son, Chris, says 94-year-old Bob Dorough died of natural causes Monday at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. According to his biography, the jazz musician "set the multiplication tables to music" as musical director for the educational cartoon series between 1973 and 1985. It was revived from 1993 to 1999.  

    >>

    MOUNT BETHEL, Pa. - A musician whose songs helped teach children on ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock" has died. His son, Chris, says 94-year-old Bob Dorough died of natural causes Monday at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. According to his biography, the jazz musician "set the multiplication tables to music" as musical director for the educational cartoon series between 1973 and 1985. It was revived from 1993 to 1999.  

    >>
  • Moses Lake Police arrest suspects accused of passing off fake $100 bills

    Moses Lake Police arrest suspects accused of passing off fake $100 bills

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:25 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:25:27 GMT

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - A Puyallup man and woman suspected of passing fake $100 bills across multiple states were arrested in Moses Lake Monday night.  Moses Lake Police posted photos of the two suspects on Monday after a man used two fake $100 bills at a Safeway, and a short time later a woman used a fake $100 bill at Rite Aide.

    >>

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - A Puyallup man and woman suspected of passing fake $100 bills across multiple states were arrested in Moses Lake Monday night.  Moses Lake Police posted photos of the two suspects on Monday after a man used two fake $100 bills at a Safeway, and a short time later a woman used a fake $100 bill at Rite Aide.

    >>