“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me” – Jim Valvano
Last month, we celebrated the Mother’s Day tradition by highlighting two amazing women – Andee and Cheryl.
For Father’s Day, we are honored to share the story of Mike and the love he has for his daughter Kenzi.
“Kenzi is a fun loving, adventurous person that has a passion for life.”
Kenzi was born with moderate to severe cerebral palsy.
She has undergone multiple hip surgeries, spinal surgery to clip nerves in her spine, surgery to place rods along both sides of her spine from her hips to her neck, and more. Because of her limited mobility, Kenzi uses a wheelchair.
Although she has used a wheelchair since birth, Kenzi’s father has taught her that she can still do anything she wants to do.
“We have always told her that we didn’t want her to be limited in what she wanted to do and that we would help her do whatever we could physically help her do.”
Mike does not let Kenzi’s diagnosis stop him from including her in the activities they love to do together. Since Kenzi is adventurous and willing to try anything, Mike has shared his love for the outdoors with her and they participate in many activities as a family.
They take a yearly snow skiing trip to an adaptive sports center in Colorado. They have taken Kenzi snowmobiling, where she is strapped to the front of her dad using Velcro straps.
Kenzi has been rafting down the Illinois River using an adaptive seat, swimming using a life jacket, and many other activities.
Kenzi also loves to go fishing with her dad regularly.
Mike helps Kenzi experience the freedom of doing activities she loves without feeling any constraints. Whether she is on the slopes snow skiing in real time, cruising through the Illinois rapids, or going on a hunting or fishing trip with her dad — Kenzi feels powerful and free.
“As Father’s Day approaches, I am thankful for Kenzi and the love that we share together and the time and adventures that we are able to enjoy as father and daughter!”
Mike is a father who proves that love has no limitations. He supports Kenzi in everything she wants to do and shows her that anything is possible. That is how every parent should be. Every child should feel as loved and supported as Kenzi does.
If you have a story like Mike and Kenzi’s, share it with us and show everyone how spreading love can be life-changing. Happy Father’s Day!