Tacey Raulerson never ceases to impress people. The seven-year-old is going through her third round of chemotherapy. Cancer took one of her eyes when she was a baby, and just before this school year, it took her other eye.
What she's doing while blind has certainly opened a lot of eyes, including one visitor's Friday.
Tacey's is a house of magic, but a home she's been in a lot lately. Her latest chemo -- a round that will end in January -- has kept her out of school, but not out of a lot of people's minds.
"I'll be really, really famous, which I already am," she jokes.
But that's not too far from the truth.
"She has the personality that just draws people in," said Tammy, her mother, "which is part of why she gets cards and letters from all over the United States. To see her get so excited about something just lifts you up."
The pile of letters, cards and gifts in the Raulerson home goes to prove that point.
Tacey's passion is magic. She's been practicing since her school counselor got her hooked. It's the same passion of Erick Olson, the nationally-known, Orlando-based magician in town for a Children's Museum event, along with a private show at the Raulerson home.
"They said there's this wonderful young lady that's really into magic and wondered if I could stop by," Olson said.
"He taught me a couple of tricks," Tacey said. A wry smile crossed her face. "One of the card tricks, I actually taught him."
"Half the tricks I was going to teach her, she already knew before I got here," Olson said, "so I hope she's going to get me tickets to her Vegas show someday."
"It just shows her how much fun she can have, and how talented she is," Tammy said. "She was impressed she could amaze Erick."
So what makes Tacey a good candidate to be a magician?
"Her smile and her willingness and quickness to pick up and learn," Olson explained. "She's amazing."
While Tacey's passion was fostered before her blindness, it's grown even more in the days and months since.
"As difficult as things have been the last few weeks especially, she has just stayed her positive self, and is happy as can be," Tammy said.
With her parents and friends watching on, Tacey's display lit up the room, as well as her own smile.
"You don't really have to watch what you're doing," a confident Tacey explained. "You just have to concentrate and you just really have to know what you're doing."
"We forget sometimes how amazing she is because we're around her all the time, but then we also see it," Tammy said. "We are amazed and entertained all the time."
Tacey's personal website is at http://www3.caringbridge.org/tx/taceyraye.
Erick Olson's website can be found at http://www.floridamagic.net.
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