Jenna Kosair Kid


Jenna was born prematurely and at 18 months old was diagnosed with Periventricular Leukomalacia, a form of white-matter brain injury that affects motor skills. That led to a diagnosis of Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy known as “Little’s Disease.”

Jenna has had two surgeries. First came a Dorsal Rhizotomy, which accesses the spine and selectively destroys problematic nerve roots to relieve leg spasticity. Then in March of 2014, she had a femoral osteotomy, a difficult procedure that typically involves cutting, shaping or removing bone. She had this procedure on both hips.

Jenna has received direct support from Kosair Charities, including an adaptive eating seat that insurance would not cover. And since age three she has received occupational and physical therapy at The Kids Center for Pediatric Therapy, which receives major support from Kosair Charities. Jenna loves going there. “It doesn’t seem like doing therapy,” her mother Rawan said. “They make it fun for her.”

Jenna’s mother and father are among the many parents in and around Louisville who can hardly believe they found something like Kosair Charities. “If it weren’t for Kosair Charities,” Rawan said, pausing. “Oh goodness—Jenna wouldn’t be where she’s at. They help with things that insurance won’t pay for.”

Learn more about Jenna in the Summer 2015 Edition of Kite Tales.

Avaya Kosair Kid


Avaya was diagnosed at age two with sensory integration disorder. This disorder leads to anxiety, slight OCD and skin so sensitive that buttons, socks and tightly fitted clothing can cause a break out. Over stimulation for Avaya can lead to falling asleep, violent out bursts and overall meltdowns.

After moving to Louisville from Lexington, her regular insurance refused to pay for her services because they did not consider sensory integration disorder, along with anxiety, a serious condition. By 2013, Avaya had completely regressed.

In March of 2014, Kosair Charities joined the fight to help give Avaya a chance at the life every 6-year old should have by paying for her occupational therapy at Louisville Pediatric Therapy Center (a Kosair Charities supported agency). Her mother called them a Godsend. Thanks to her OT, Avaya is making strides in the classroom and her teachers are thrilled with her behavior and progress!

Caden Kosair Kid


Caden was born in 2007 with Spina Bifida, a clubfoot, and Hydrocephalus. At 13 months old, he needed a shunt replacement due to seizures. As a toddler, Caden needed several leg operations, one to restructure his clubfoot and another to help straighten his right leg. Recently, he underwent another surgery to remove a metal plate from his right leg that was placed there to help straighten it. Caden now walks with reciprocal braces and uses a wheelchair.

Caden is a very energetic, friendly and popular little boy who loves school and playing with other kids. Caden never lets his disabilities get in the way and jumps right into whatever activity is going on. He loves music, swimming, riding his 3-wheeler, and playing in his sandbox. Caden’s parents, Tony and Diane consider him a blessing and feel very fortunate to be his mother and father.

Learn more about Kosair Kid® Caden in the Summer/Fall 2013 Edition of Kite Tales

Lexi Kosair Kid


At just seven weeks old, Lexi was diagnosed with infantile botulism, an illness that can occur when an infant ingests bacteria that produce a toxin inside the body. Not only is it rare (fewer than 100 cases occur in the United States each year), it is frightening because it causes severe muscle weakness and breathing problems.

After spending eight long weeks in an incubator, Lexi’s parents, Andrea and Casey, were finally able to take their baby home. Unfortunately, they also took home an astronomical hospital bill. Kosair Charities stepped in and took care of Lexi’s medical bills. They also followed up with the family to make sure they had everything they needed by reaching out to therapists who worked with Lexi on speech, occupational and physical therapy for several months.

Today, Lexi is just like any other six-year old girl. She’s full of life and a wonderful big sister to siblings Silas, Layla-Cate and Sully.

Kanyon Kosair Kid


Cerebral Palsy can manifest itself differently in children and adults. For Kanyon, it is in her legs. Very early in life, she was told she would never walk, but Kanyon and her family chose not to take a seat to CP. With the help of Kosair Charities, they wouldn’t have to. After a few surgeries (with a few more to go), a lot of therapy and teams of brilliant doctors, Kanyon can now live life without a wheelchair.

Her mother wrote, “If it wasn’t for Kosair Charities, Kanyon wouldn’t have the confidence she does. She wouldn’t be on her way to being all that she can be.”

Imani Kosair Kid


Imani was born with sensorineural hearing loss. Doctors are unsure why that occurred, but it’s often genetic; hearing loss runs in her family. “The ability to hear is important in helping children learn to speak,” said Imani’s audiologist, Kim Lawless, “and there’s a reason we have two ears — it helps distinguish speech from noise.”

As the new school year dawned, Vanessa Biggers faced a crisis. Her 9-year-old daughter, Imani, lost one of her hearing aids, and Vanessa, a single mother who was temporarily out of a job, didn’t know how she would replace the expensive device.

It was important to match the lost hearing aid, because Imani’s school had invested in a system that lets her teacher speak through a microphone that broadcasts to Imani’s hearing aid. “It’s like Imani is sitting in the teacher’s lap,” Lawless said.

Vanessa is a strong advocate for her daughter and was determined to replace the hearing aid — perhaps through a bake sale or car wash at church. She was unfamiliar with Kosair Charities but Brother Evans, a deacon at their church in Lebanon, Ky., who also belongs to the Damascus Temple Shrine in West Louisville, is quite familiar.

anessa contacted Kosair Charities and was amazed at how quickly the process fell into place. Within weeks, Imani had a new Oticon Vigo Pro — just like the one she had before.

“Kosair Charities called and asked what I needed,” Lawless said, “and it was there in a week. That’s just incredible.”

Dr. Hurt Kosair Kid

Dr. James Hurt

Hurt was diagnosed with a bone infection by his doctor when he was 11 years old and was immediately referred to Kosair Crippled Children Hospital. His first stay lasted ten months and included three major operations, but it would not be his last. In fact, KCCH would become something of a home to Dr. Hurt for many years.

After his first stay, Dr. Hurt was in and out for further operations throughout his teenage years. During his many visits, he says, he was regularly urged to further his learning. He was helped in doing so by being given “odd jobs” at the hospital for compensation toward his education. He was so inspired by the love and care that he received at KCCH that he decided to become an orthopedic surgeon. He attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine and performed his general practice in Campbellsville and Bedford, Ky.

Dr. Hurt didn’t stay away from what he calls his “home away from home” for long, because he returned to Louisville to perform his residency at KCCH. After completion, he became a staff member and remained so until he retired.

Unfortunately, Dr. Hurt passed away on January 26, 2014 at The Episcopal Church Home, Louisville, after battling dementia. He will always be remembered as the self-proclaimed “oldest Kosair Kid® around.”