A lovely 4-year-old that was born with Spina Bifida recently took her first steps at school while her schoolmates cheered. Kenydii Parker has a lot of tenacity and joy, and despite all she’s been through at her young age, the little girl has managed to keep smiling.
A video of Kenydii walking at the W.G. Pearson Elementary School while her classmates cheered on her has gone viral on social media and the girl’s contagious smile has been melting hearts left and right.
She was born with spina bifida, but Kenydii always had a dream: to be able to walk. Now, after three surgeries and a lot of time using a wheelchair, the girl has managed to make her dream come true.
Her father, Kenneth Parker, 36, told People: “Kenydii has the kind of spirit where she’s gonna do what she wants to do. She said just about every day that she’s gonna walk, no matter what,” and added:
“She said, ‘Dad, I’m gonna walk! Dad, I wanna walk!’ Even when she had the cast on her leg… she’d jump off the couch. She’s got that determination in her. She never gives up.”
The adorable girl was using her walker outside of school when a class arrived and started cheering for her. Her aunt, Yvette Parker, captured the video that has earned over 4.8 million views and 114k shares on Facebook, with comments from people of all around the world also encouraging the girl to keep her journey.
“I was shocked! I couldn’t believe she actually was walking and the smile on her face was breathtaking,” Yvette said. “She is always a happy little girl, but that day her smile made me cry because all she ever wanted was to walk.”
Kenneth and his wife Terry Parker, 31, learned that their seventh daughter would be born with spina bifida when Terry was 18 weeks pregnant. The couple said they were taken by surprise by the news, and doctors made it seem like it was the end of the world for their little girl.
However, they decided to go through with the pregnancy and got ready to face whatever they had to do to give Kenydii a happy life.
Spina bifida is a condition in which a baby’s spinal cord fails to develop correctly. It can cause several intellectual or physical difficulties depending on the case, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kenydii has gone through five major surgeries, two on her head and three on her legs, her dad said.
Despite all of the difficulties she has encountered, Kenydii has maintained her good spirits up, and her contagious joy makes everyone that comes in contact with her fall in love with the girl at first sight.
“She is always smiling, talking and laughing," Parker said. "To some, she may not seem like a perfect child, but she is perfect to us.”
Katie McGonnell and Kim Tisdale, Kenydii’s teachers, told GMA that the girl is "a blessing" to the class. Tisdale explained:
"Kenydii is such a cheerful little girl -- always so happy. Her personality is so big. Much bigger than her wheelchair."
“The day after she walked in front of her class she was asking to do the stairs," McGonnell said. "She has so much grit. She's such a special little girl."
Like, Kenydii, another child that stole hearts all over the internet is Roman Dinkel, a 2-year-old boy that like her, was born with spina bifida.
Whitney Dinkel, Roman's mom managed to capture on video the moment the boy took his first steps, and the feat was nothing short of a great victory for the adorable boy, who was excited to show his dog, Maggie, that he was walking.
The toddler went through surgery while he was still in the womb to increase his chances of being able to walk.
"I had to let him fall a few times so he'd know I wouldn't be there to catch him, and he had to learn how to catch himself," Whitney said.
The little boy is said to have put in a lot of practice into walking, and the world was thrilled to see his first successful attempt at it.
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