The VanderKallen family has faced more than their share of obstacles since they welcomed Kingston into the world. One thing they have learned through all this is what a difference a little help or support can make. Now, after four years of struggle, they’ve decided it's Kingston's turn to return the favor.
For many 4-year-old boys, getting a haircut is routine by now. But for Kingston VanderKallen, it’s a first.
“Very first; we haven`t even trimmed it,” said mom, Terril.
Kingston has had a lot of firsts this past year- including climbing stairs, and eating stage 2 baby food. Before that, Kingston had been fed through a feeding tube.
Through each accomplishment, Kingston continues to defy doctor`s expectations.
“They said he was going to be vegetable, to the point of not getting out of bed. Not walking, not talking, understanding just the basic stuff like who mom and dad were, and never eat,” explained Terril.
Before he was born, Kingston was diagnosed with 'C.H.A.R.G.E Syndrome.’ which prevented the development of three of his five senses.
He can`t hear, see or taste, and suffers from several other health complications. Because of his condition, Kingston has endured multiple surgeries over the past four years. His parents, Terril and Wil, say it hasn`t been easy.
“Its hard buts there’s a huge support group. It makes a difference,” said Terril. It's because of that support, even from strangers, that Wil and Terrill wanted to give back.
“You think that its money or something you have to help someone with and it was like no really it’s just your time, or anything you can possibly do for someone. What could we do?” Wil remembers asking. But the question they needed to ask is what could Kingston do? And the answer was right in front of them. They decided to donate Kingston’s never-been-cut hair to Locks of Love.
“It’s something that no matter what he`s gone through or what he`s done, it’s been the only thing really that has never been sick on him it is the healthiest part of him and he`s giving that back to people that have done things for him,” said Wil.
“In your heart you just know that it`s going to somebody and it’s going to mean so much whether they know his story or not but for us to know that a another little child that is suffering gets to wear his hair,” said Terril.
Kingston and his family are already an inspiration to many, and with or without his trademark hair Kingston, is going to keep inspiring.
“He`s a blessing,. He's just this little example of hope in every way,” said Wil.
Kingston still cannot see, and is legally deaf, but he is walking, communicating and eating.