Since Cloud 9 opened, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some amazing kids. There are kids that come in to play that have so much to work through, whether it’s medical conditions, special needs, or family struggles. Often times the kids have no idea how hard they really have it and are still the happiest kids around. However, their parents do know how hard they have it, and work so hard to make life easier on their little ones. I want to be able to honor these little heroes and their parents by recognizing them and give them a little support by letting them play for free for a month.*
So - if you know a child who is overcoming odds, pressing on through a tough medical journey, through hard family circumstances, etc - nominate them here to be our Little Hero of the Month! Little Heroes of the Month will receive a 1 Month Pass to Cloud 9, some special photos of themselves and their primary caregiver(s) while at Cloud 9, and have a blog post detailing them, their journey, and any ways they may need help so that the community can support them. It is my hope to bring awareness about some of the struggles that kids and their families are facing, and be able to connect parents going through similar journeys as a result.
Little Heroes of the Month must be children 6 years old and younger - as those are the ideal ages for our Play Space.
Pictured above is Koda Kramer. If you’ve followed Cloud 9 for awhile, you probably recognize him! He has been coming to play for about 5 months now, and he’s one of the inspirations behind this Little Heroes program. He is diagnosed with Lateral Meningocele Syndrome and is just as SWEET as can be. Here’s a bit of his story, as told by his mom, Tayler.
He was in NICU for 93 days. He eats 100% through G Tube. Hearing abnormalities. Braces for loose joints, he has the starting of scoliosis (13 degree curve as of last week) hydronephrosis of his kidneys, he had a PDA and PFO coil put in his heart for holes that didn’t close. He’s had multiple hernia surgeries, jaw distraction, tubes, muscle biopsy, he has low tone, dysphasia which cases him to have trouble when he does try to eat(very seldom) but we are working on it. He gets speech PT and OT every week, he uses a posterior walker to help him with his gate and balance to try to learn to walk. He is learning sign which he is actually doing great with, still not much vocalization but baby steps. We are getting him hearing aides soon to hopefully help with speech. He has hydrocephalus, so he is monitored with neurosurgeon and neurologist. He major part that is unknown is his back... the Menegeoceles expand with time and they aren’t sure exactly how to treat them with best results 3 of the older kiddos or adults are wheel chair bound now how we are hoping medical science advances and they find some way to prevent that, we just have to pray about that one and hope they find something that helps relieve the pressure on his spine and nerves. He has a chiari malformation as well in his brain that might need decompressed soon but no way to know when until he shows symptoms. He gets breathing treatments 4x a day and vest treatments to help with his lungs... he has chronic atelectasis of his lungs from being on high pressure for so long and then Intubated. Positive pressure for extended times is not good for their lungs but at the time its what he needed to keep him with us. He is the happiest little guy ever loving so friendly and personable. Couldn’t have asked for a better little guy to make our hearts whole.
*Little Heroes of the Month must be 6 years old or younger. 1 child will be chosen per month. The child’s parents must approve the child being submitted, and will be contacted if the child is chosen. All participants must sign a waiver before playing at Cloud 9. The Month Play Pass is valid for one month from issue date and includes the Little Hero and up to two siblings under the age of 6. Cloud 9 reserves the right to chose whichever child we see fit and will not be able to choose each child nominated, though all will be deserving. Please call or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.