published: Friday, April 26, 2013
Kenna just wants to be a princess
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - Jennifer Stephens' young daughter, Kenna, 4, has suffered from a wide range of health ailments since shortly after her birth.
After two and a half years of testing and out-of-state visits to specialists in Boston, doctors finally discovered that Kenna suffers from mitochondrial disease.
Though mentally delayed by more than a year compared to other kids her age, Kenna has become more and more active physically as well as vocally through her many therapy appointments. She is now speaking in full sentences, a huge step up from just a year ago, and can even identify and remember places she's seen and visited.
Fire trucks and sirens make her smile bright enough to light up a room and hugs from her big brothers -- Kayne, 12, and 11-year-old Jarek -- are often more comforting than a fluffy teddy bear.
Doctor visits, weekly appointments with specialists and therapists, trips to Boston and the ever dreaded emergency room trips for various reasons have become commonplace. Stephens and her family have little time to enjoy one another in a relaxed, family-friendly setting outside of their living room.
Kenna's fascination with Disney princesses, like almost all other little girls, has grown to the point where she asks her mom daily for one thing - a trip to Disney World. But the family has no time -- or extra funds -- to do anything the children have longed to do.
"She's really wanting to go there (Disney). They all do. The boys, too. It's just going to be close to impossible to do. I want to take them more than anything. I know I will eventually. It will happen," Stephens said.
This is where local mother and founder of Sebring Macaroni Kid website, Maribel Saunders, comes in. Saunders heard about Kenna and felt compelled to help.
"As a mommy, I do not know how Jennifer does it," Saunders said.
Saunders has created the "Kenna's Family Disney Trip" fundraiser that she hopes will help get the family to Disney.
"I have set up an account at a local TD Bank. The account's title is 'Kenna's Family Disney Trip.' There are coin machines at TD banks so you may be able to bring in your loose change and help this little girl go to Disney," Saunders said.
Anybody wishing to donate may make checks payable to her Kenna's Family Disney Trip and mail to Maribel Saunders, 74 Tower St., Lake Placid, Fla., 33852.
(by: Blindman~ - 4/27/2013)
For those with a heart, this is a no-brainer. And if your only thinking how nice it would be to help a family and fulfill a little girls dream just do it. Remember, the road to Hades is paved with good intentions.
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