Adelaide (Addie) was born premature, at 26 weeks, and had a severe brain bleed within her first week of life. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. The need: Addie is wheelchair dependent and a handicap accessible van would allow our family to continue going out in the community together and help Addie get to/from her medical appointments and therapies safely. Read her amazing story as told by her mom:

“Our family has grown rapidly in the last six years…we are a busy family of six, including an almost 8-year-old, two 6-year-olds, and a 5-year-old. In 2012, they adopted their eldest son, Stevie, through the foster care system. The week after we finalized his adoption, we received a shocking call from the state. His biological mother had just given birth to twins. They were born premature at 26 weeks and weighed less than 4 pounds combined. They had no names and their future was uncertain. We started visiting these tiny humans in the NICU. “Baby girl” was bigger than her brother, as she weighed a fierce 2 lbs., 1 oz. Sadly, she had a severe brain bleed within the first week of life, which resulted in hydrocephalus and the need for a shunt. Thankfully, she proved to be a FIGHTER. In December 2012, while the twins were still in the hospital, we found out I was pregnant. We had tried for years, so the timing was interesting to say the least. In January 2013, we got to bring the twins home as foster placements. We were so nervous, as Stevie was not quite two, “baby boy” was on oxygen, “baby girl” had a scary incision on her head, and I was pregnant. By God’s grace the kids thrived and we, the parents, somehow survived. In May 2013, we were blessed by finalizing the twins’ adoptions. They officially had the names they so deserved, Drake Joseph McDonald and Adelaide (Addie) Harper McDonald. Then little sister, Piper Quinn, joined the crew in August. Shortly after Piper was born, Addie started having infantile spasms, a type of seizure disorder. This was so heartbreaking, because she had already been through so much.

The next few months and years were a whirlwind. Addie has had 15+ surgeries in her six years of life. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is wheelchair dependent. Despite these difficulties, she is the happiest little girl and so loved by her family (and everyone else who meets her). She is mostly non-verbal, but still more funny and ornery than you can imagine. Addie is a JOY and continues to amaze as she progresses and learns new things. However, as she continues to grow, we face new challenges. This girl that could once be held in one hand, is getting harder to lift safely. We are in the process of adapting our home and could use help raising money for a handicap accessible van. The cost of adapting a vehicle is expensive and not covered by insurance. Having a van like this will allow us to continue going to community activities as a family and to get Addie to/from her appointments and therapies safely. I have gone part-time at my job, in order to take Addie to her many appointments and be with her and the other kids before/after school. This loss of income has been hard, due to our already tight budget and financial obligations. We currently cannot afford to convert a van on our own. Any help will be so appreciated!”

Addie’s family has an abundance of love and is so dedicated to their kiddos and the special needs they face. Their optimism is so impressive and Variety KC partners were eager to help them! If you’re moved to help Addie’s family and others like them – please donate today – www.varietykc.org/donate/