KS95 For Kids Features Person Supported By CIP
Every December radio station KS95 hosts their annual fundraiser, “KS95 for Kids Radiothon.” The benefit raises funds for two local charities; Children’s Cancer Research Fund and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. The station features spotlights on several different children with disabilities supported by those charities throughout the month to raise awareness about the charities the event’s funds will go to. The radiothon will be held on December 13, 2019 at Mall of America. This year, one of those featured kids is Maddy, an individual supported by CIP!
Maddy has spina bifida. But that hasn’t stopped her from showing compassion, a sense of humor, and the ability to engage with everyone she meets.
“She’s a warrior,” Rachelle Lavalier, Maddy’s mom, told KS95. “She doesn’t have any barriers, and that’s an important part of who she is.” Lavalier calls the 8-year-old the bravest person she knows. She explains that her daughter has a way of drawing people in and caring about every individual she encounters.
Before Maddy was even born, tests revealed she would face a host of health concerns, including spina bifida, bilateral clubfeet, and an omphalocele — an abdominal wall defect in which the intestines, liver, and other organs develop in a sac outside the body. Maddy underwent three major surgeries immediately after she was born. She also began seeing multiple specialists at Gillette.
The care and encouragement Maddy receives at Gillette has helped her build confidence.
Maddy is eager to answer questions from her peers at school about her condition. She helps them understand her wheelchair by explaining it serves as her “legs.” Maddy wants to be a voice for others like her while raising awareness about people’s abilities rather than their disabilities.
She recently had an opportunity to spread this awareness by reading the book It’s Okay to Ask to a group of elementary school children in South St. Paul. It’s Okay to Ask is a book made for children by Gillette that introduces five kids who have disabilities or medical conditions. Over the course of the story, the reader is able to see that children who have disabilities love to do everything everyone else does.
To date, KS95 for Kids has raised nearly $16 million. Donations to the fundraiser will help continue the fight for a cure for childhood cancer and life changing support for kids living with disabilities. You can tune in to 94.5 KS95 on December 13 to hear their inspiring stories of hope and make a donation.