Meet Kelsey Dornbusch


Kelsey Dornbusch, 29, lives in Troy with her parents and is very close to her sister, Bailey, who is 25. Kelsey started working with Riverside when she was around 3 years old, after being diagnosed with Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a type of brain damage that can be caused during or shortly after birth, or while a baby is still in utero.

Kelsey graduated from Troy High School in 2012, then continued her education through Project Discovery and Project Search (now known as the Explore Program), which assist young adults with disabilities to explore different employment opportunities and build important skills.

Shortly after that, Kelsey was hired by Premier to work in Nutrition Services at Upper Valley Medical Center. She works 32 hours per week and has been there almost 10 years. She takes great pride in her work and is excited her department is receiving a new dishwasher in coming weeks. Kelsey is well-known throughout the hospital and has been awarded for perfect attendance.

When she isn’t working, Kelsey enjoys being outdoors and staying active. She loves fishing, spending time with her family at their rustic cabin in Michigan and riding her bike whenever possible. Last year, she achieved one of her goals, which was to participate in the Tour De Donut bike race in Troy with her father, sister and brother-in-law. She completed the 19.7-mile race in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 22 seconds. She ate two donuts along the way and finished 3rd in her class. She is looking forward to competing again.

Kelsey has a service provider, or direct support professional, for a few hours each week, who takes Kelsey on outings for socialization and community-based activities. She also participates in many of Riverside’s Community Connections activities, including nature walks, breakfast chit chats, karaoke nights and BINGO.

Kelsey’s parents said one of the most notable things about Kelsey is that she is a family-oriented person.

“If there’s anything involved where family is, that’s where she wants to be,” said Missy Dornbusch.

But there is a trait that may be even stronger, they said.

“Kelsey sees the good in everybody. She’s not judgmental,” said Missy; her dad Rusty agrees.

“She may seem a little standoffish when you meet her,” he said. “But when you get her trust and friendship, she’s your friend for life. We could learn a lot from her.”

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