Kai had just turned four when her mother noticed that her active little girl was spending more of her time sitting than was usual. Within a few weeks, Kai started having trouble walking. The week after Christmas, Cynthia took Kai into the pediatrician’s office and the nurse practitioner was not overly concerned. The little girl had just recovered from a bout with the flu and he assumed that all the symptoms were due to her recent illness.
Mom wasn’t buying it. She knew that all was not right with her little girl. Back to the doctor’s office they went – this time to see the doctor. The doctor ran a series of tests that showed Kai’s reflexes were severely compromised. Kai was sent immediately to Children’s Hospital for more tests. This day turned out to be the first day of a six-week stay – Kai’s symptoms weren’t from the flu. She had a brain tumor.
The next three years would be a whirlwind of hospitalizations, chemotherapy and radiation. Little Kai spent most of kindergarten, first, second and third grade in and out of the hospital. She never gave up. Even when she was too tired to make it through an entire school day, her spirit never wavered.
Kai’s parents met Chris and Sue Hoefflin during that very first hospital stay. Chris and Sue dropped by the hospital to offer their support and drop off a Kare Kit. The Hoefflin’s continued to stay in touch over the course of Kai’s treatment. At Christmas, they dropped off a basket of goodies. When Kai was well enough to participate in the Michael Hoefflin Foundation Family events, such as the bowling party and annual trip to Lombardi Ranch, the Hoefflins always made sure to say hello.
Kai is now finishing her first full year of school — 5th grade! Her health has been good for almost two years now and although she still gets tired, her strength is slowly returning. The cancer caused many changes in Kai’s life, but luckily for Kai’s family and friends, she never lost her infectious grin and the spirit that is such a part of her. She has always been able to summon a smile or giggle at some childhood silliness. Through the entire ordeal, her spirit and her grin carried everyone through!
For more information, please visit www.mhf.org or call the Michael Hoefflin Foundation at 661-250-4100.
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- Ladies In Business Conference 2009
- A Note From the Publishers - May 2009
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- Kai's Courageous Spirit
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- FLY "Over the Rainbow" with ESCAPE's Production of The Wizard of Oz
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