On May 7, 1998 at the age of four, Kendal was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). After 26 months of treatment she was able to enjoy the next ten years cancer free, focusing on all the major priorities in life (you know — friends, texting, facebook, boys, what to wear!). Then on April 9, 2010, what once appeared to be a relapse turned out to be a new diagnosis of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). This battle proved to be much tougher than before.
A bone marrow transplant would be Kendal’s only hope of a cure and although her brother was a perfect match, this blessing was not enough. In order to receive the transplant she needed to first be in a state of remission and despite six intense inductions, a remission was nowhere in site. Her cancer was very aggressive and resistant to the chemotherapy. Desperate to help our daughter we explored other options and headed to the University of Minnesota for a trial involving Natural Killer Cell Therapy. Although this treatment was able to give her a brief remission, Kendal's body was just too sick and her organs too weak from the many rounds of intense chemotherapy to continue on to transplant. On January 7, 2011 our precious Kendal lost her fight.
Kendal was a beautiful, strong and amazing young woman. Not long after receiving this very devastating diagnosis, Kendal was on Facebook posting this message. "I do not understand why I have been dealt these cards but I am capable of anything and I will beat this."
Although she lost her battle, she fought it with such grace and determination and was ALWAYS so full of HOPE. She never gave up.
Kendal would often speak of what she called her "MISSION" to bring people closer to God and closer to family. She wanted people to never take life for granted, to appreciate all that you have and to love big.
With the exception of about three weeks, Kendal spent the last nine months of her life in a hospital, without ever complaining or feeling sorry for herself. Knowing first hand how difficult this experience was, Kendal was determined to find a way to make a difference in the lives of other kids going through the same. Being a huge camp lover herself, Kendal was excited about volunteering at Special Days Camp, a camp for kids with cancer, when she was better. One of her nurses volunteered at the camp every year and they often talked about going there together.
She was also very passionate about finding a cure so that someday this terrible disease will no longer be a threat to so many. She wanted to share her story in an effort to bring awareness because a cure is what these kids really need.
By starting Team Kendal Kidz, we feel that we are able to keep her dream alive. We believe that by aligning ourselves with Special Days Camp and The Children's Cancer Research Fund, we have chosen partners that would best honor our daughter's memory and wishes.
We invite you to join our mission and help give kids SMILES for today and HOPE for tomorrow!