Meet KJ – Indiana

Meet Kevin – Indianapolis IN – Age 12

For an extroverted kid like KJ, the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging, even if it has allowed his passions of Fortnite and science (and his interest in dinosaurs) to grow. Fortunately for him and his sister Ka’Lynn, it also has provided a slight reprieve from seasonal sickness, and more importantly, fewer chances to be exposed to smoke, grass, perfume – really, anything that could cause an asthma attack.

KJ was diagnosed with severe asthma when he was a year old. His mother, Danielle, knew right away, since she had seen a lot of the same signs from Ka’Lynn. The constant uncertainty is taxing, as his mother Danielle said, “One minute they can be okay, and the next they can have an asthma attack and you don’t know why.”

With so many triggers in everyday life (even their German Shephard who lives outside), KJ and his family are hyperaware of the fragrances and scents that most people don’t even think about. It can get frustrating, especially if people aren’t paying attention to “No Smoking” signs.  Danielle can’t even pass somebody smoking outside during her lunch break without having to completely change clothes and shower before she gets home.

Danielle wishes she could just tell people, “Please listen, be mindful of others in your surroundings,” especially with how hard it is on kids with asthma.

She couldn’t let many people into the house even before coronavirus, since it’s hard for others to be conscious of what reaction things like their deodorant can cause. Ka’Lynn taught Danielle early the importance of having a good support system of people who all have a plan of action and medicine in case an attack does come. “If you slack, it’s not going to help,” Danielle said. “You have to stay on top of it.”

With all of the emotional energy it takes to be on top of it, it’s been very meaningful for KJ and his family to have A Kid Again. KJ and Ka’Lynn have enjoyed the organization’s activity boxes and how much they’ve gotten out of them, from the s’mores to the pumpkin carving. Danielle has particularly appreciated the check-in emails to see how KJ’s been doing, and how personal they feel.

KJ is looking forward to having more experiences like his first Adventure, when he met and got an autograph from “The Thingamajig” on “The Masked Singer” (Victor Oladipo) and some of the other Pacers last December. KJ loved talking to the players and seeing them play that weekend. Seeing his picture on Facebook and having all of his school friends talk to him about how he was on the news wasn’t so bad, either!

January 2021

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