BADGER, NL – Kendell Loder grew up in Badger with a love for dancing. She started dance training at age three, but by 11, her passion was stripped away due to a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy (MD).
While she had to give up dancing, Kendell stayed positive and changed her goals.
“She’s persistent, she’s a go getter,” said her mother, Colleen Loder.
It is Kendell's hope to pursue post-secondary education once she graduates in June 2018.
Her goal is to eventually attend medical school.
Kendell was recently granted a wish from the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, an organization whose mission is to make dreams come true for Canadian children living with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses.
It took a while for the Grade 12 student to decide what to wish for. Initially she wanted a swimming pool, but due to liability, that was one wish the foundation was unable to grant.
She then thought about a cruise for her family but decided against it.
In the end, Kendell made a practical choice – she wished for a top-of-the-line Mac Book Pro, something she felt would benefit her in the long run more than a cruise.
Kendell’s MD diagnosis was a tough pill for the whole family to swallow, said her mother. She went from running, playing and dancing to one day tripping up over her feet and falling all the time.
Her family watched her go through a series of tests from ages 11 to 14, when she received the official diagnosis.
“The testing made her cry and it made us cry,” said Colleen.
Kendell describes her illness as a weakness that comes over time, something that will never get better. Fortunately, the type of MD she has does not impact her lifespan or affect her mentally. She only requires help for the physical effects of the disease.
The new computer from the Sunshine Foundation will be a great help in her last year of high school and into post-secondary education, said Kendell.
The Loder family found out about the Sunshine Foundation when Kendell was in Grade 10 and one of her classmates had a wish granted through the organization.
The people she dealt with were very kind and easy to deal with, said Kendell. She said she would recommend the foundation to anyone who qualifies.