You all know the story about how I managed to land my current job. It basically fell into my lap - and I assumed that going through the struggles I did, and getting the job at Head Start was all a plan to make me appreciate finding the job I did in the public schools. All of that is still true, but now I know that there was another reason I was blessed with the opportunity - and it has nothing to do with teaching me a lesson or getting my foot into the door of a public school.
Nope, I truly believe that one of the major reasons I was given the opportunity was to meet the mother of this precious child:
This is Kenadee. She is the 18 month old daughter of a teacher I work with. To look at pictures of Kenadee, you'd think that she's just like any other gorgeous 18 month old children - but she's not.
A few months after Kenadee was born, her parents received the news that no parents want to hear. Kenadee was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Respiratory Complex IV Disease. As her mother explained it "think of a car that runs out of gas". That's what happens in Kenadee's brain. The cells in her body don't produce energy - and so her development, vision, and brain function are all seriously effected.
At 18 months old, Kenadee is not able to lift her head by herself and has very little strength or control in her muscles. Her vision is also impaired, she is unable to follow movement with her eyes. Her parents have never felt the joy of seeing their baby smile.
If all that wasn't enough, Kenadee also has severe kidney disfunction, chronic lung disease, chronic urinary tract infections, and has undergone three surgeries. The most recent surgery involved placing a feeding tube that would help keep fluid out of her tiny lungs.
Which leads me to tell you a little about her amazing mother. She was assigned to me as one of the teachers I would be working with on a daily basis. Her name is Lacie. Immediately, Lacie took me under her wing, helped show me the ropes, and made me feel so welcome. It wasn't until she requested I be friends with her on Facebook that I discovered Kenadee's story. Every day, Lacie teaches a class of third graders, often after spending an entire night up with Kenadee at home or in the hospital. She has such a warmth about her - and her students all love her. I love her, too. In only two short weeks, she is someone I consider a friend...and it took no time at all to realize that I had to do something to help.
The pictures I have seen of this beautiful child have sent shock waves through me. The calling I received after hearing her story, seeing her pictures, and getting to know her amazing mother was undeniable. I knew I had to do something - and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that you all were also going to play a part in it.
Right now, as I type this, Kenadee is in the hospital. She caught a cold that her parents had last week - which to Kenadee is life threatening.
By myself, I am nothing. I don't have money to give. As much as I love my job, the pay that comes with it is going to be barely enough to keep my family afloat over the next year. Then I realized, I have a support system. I have people that come to my page each and every day and read. I may not have the funds to give - by myself - but I knew I had fantastic people out there that could pull together with me and help make some difference in this family's life.
There are two ways that I'm going to ask for help. Choose one or both - whatever you can do is so greatly appreciated. More opportunities are also going to come in the future, but I'm starting small to begin with.
To do my part, I am going to do something to help support this child....help her parents....and selfishly help myself in the process.
For every $10 that is donated to Kenadee's cause by one of you amazing folks - I am going to pledge 1 mile in a walk-a-thon that I am putting together. The walk-a-thon is going to be dedicated to raise money to help find a cure for Kenadee.
The walk is still in the planning phases, but my hope is to build a team of local participants that will gather donations that pledge a mile that has to be walked by the participants. I am beginning to collect my miles right now. I will be installing a mile counter (as soon as I figure out how) on my page - and if you can find it in your hearts to donate ten dollars to Kenadee's page I will start racking up my miles that I will walk. I'm starting with a goal of 10 miles. That means, I'm starting with a goal to raise $100. I truly hope that I can double or triple that.....if I have to walk 30 miles, so be it. I will. I'll do it with a smile on my face, and a warmth in my heart.
So, that's the first way that you can help. I have created a fundraising page specifically for the Walk-A-Thon. I will also have a page on my blog that gives updates and schedules of the walk...once all the details are finalized...and I'm even thinking of doing a virtual walk of some kind. You guys will all be able to help with that, too!!
The other way of helping, is by visiting the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Facebook Page, find Kenadee's video and "Like" it. The video is Week 3 of the video's on the page. That's pretty simple, right? Takes about 30 seconds of your time - and can help Kenadee's parents and Kenadee.
My dear friends, not often do I come with you with something of this importance... but this is a really big deal for me. By coming together as a virtual family, we can make a big difference in this sweet, innocent child's life.
So - no more delay. Visit HERE to donate to the Walk-A-Thon. Whatever you can donate will be greatly appreciated. Every dollar helps.
For every dollar donated, we walk one step closer in finding a cure.
Please take a second to go and like the video, too.
This is going to be a huge deal around here from now on - and I will be busy over the next few weeks organizing the Walk-A-Thon, creating my page specifically dedicated to Kenadee, and counting on all of you to support me in this project.
I was sent to that school for a reason - Kenadee was that reason....and being that I had this blog with all of your support is a part of that reason.
Till next time. ;)
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