At 11:16 am Saturday, September 21, it would’ve been hard to find a single dry eye at the Little Light House. At that exact moment time a very special child was approaching her last leg around a mini-track located in the back of the school building; though, this track was not so mini to her. Having Spina Bifida doesn’t make life easy for Kadence. The developmental congenital disorder makes it difficult for her to develop the muscle tone needed to walk or stand. However, Kadence is a happy, smart and talkative four year-old, she just happens to have spent the majority of her small life getting around via a wheelchair. As far as everyone knew, September 21 would be no exception.
Kadence went around the track with a float built around her wheelchair. She was a cotton candy vendor.
This Saturday was different than most for LLH families and staff members. Instead of sleeping in, watching morning cartoons or making a big breakfast, parents spent the morning getting their children dressed in their carnival costumes and ready for their big debut, and staff arrived at property to set up for the most exciting event of the year, Mini-Laps. On this day all 64 LLH children are invited to take one lap around the mini-track as the Tulsa community celebrates them. No one looks at their disability, no one focuses on what they’ve been told they couldn’t do, instead everyone joins together cheering, clapping and celebrating each and every child for exactly who we know them to be, children full of potential. On the 21st of September, over 250 people celebrated each child who made their way around the mini-track. The cheers were to celebrate milestones in their lives, learning to crawl, walk, communicate and gain independence.
Each child dressed in costume for the big event. From strong men, to balloon vendors and clowns, we had it all!
During the last few feet of her lap around the LLH mini-track, Kadence decided it was time to show everyone how much she has grown. Last year, Kadence took her lap in her wheelchair. This year started off exactly the same. However, as our emcees, Marcia Mitchell and Scott Burnett, began to tell the crowd of Kadence’s family’s desire to see her walk, Kadence stopped her wheelchair. Having worked with her therapists for quite some time, she was ready to show everyone what she could do. Kadence stepped out of her wheelchair, grabbed hold of her walker, and took a step. For the next 60 seconds, the crowd roared as Kadence walked ten feet to the finish line. She, along with the other 63 beautiful children at the LLH proved one very important thing, that they are overcomes.
Kadence walked her final 10 feet to the finish line!
Mini-Laps is more than just a fundraiser. It is a day unlike any other. For many of the children and families who come through the LLH, Mini-Laps is the one day of the year that their child is the most celebrated. It is the day where every accomplishment that the rest of the world may view as small, is recognized as a milestone. It is a day where families can come together as a community of believers; believers in hope, in joy, and ultimately, believers in the potential that each and every child with special needs will flourish.
Our kiddos loved the cheers from the audience as they made their way around the track.
We at the LLH want to send a big thank you to all of the supporters of Mini-Laps. Your prayers, financial contributions and encouragement are what keep our organization going strong and allow us to meet the needs of so many of the world’s most special children.
Click here to find out more on the success of Mini-Laps 2014!