Tag Archives: PKS Kids

Breaking Borders

9 Jul

Today is a big day for us here at Be A Numberour founder, his mom, and 400 shirts are headed to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic this morning. They’ll be working alongside members of Willow Creek church to build houses in the Santo Domingo area, and will be passing out shirts in their “down time.”

Kevin's mom is ready for the Dominican! Here she is on the plane just before take-off!

Our shirt drops began in March 2010, and since then, we have had the opportunity to hand-deliver shirts to elementary students in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, children disabled from Pallister-Killian Syndrome, and now we’re crossing international borders to help children in the Dominican.

It’s incredible what an idea in the middle of the night not quite a year ago has led to. The friendships forged and the connections made have been humbling to all of us, but nothing compares to the children we’re lucky enough to meet and spend time with. They have been a constant source of motivation, inspiration, and most importantly, dreams. They constantly show us what it truly means to dream. As they explore the world around them and encounter all new experiences each day, the children we work for have shared their ideas and goals with us, and we couldn’t be more proud of each of them.

So, as we wait anxiously for updates and photos from the Dominican, those of us back here in the States will be working hard to keep spreading the word about our worldwide (!!) movement to give children hope and help them keep dreaming while they teach us to do the same.

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The Littlest Lessons

28 Jun

We’ve just returned from the latest shirt drop, which took place in Mount Laurel, New Jersey at a conference on Pallister-Killian Syndrome (PKS). The children we visited there were such beautiful, happy children, even though they experience many day-to-day challenges.

Founder Kevin Hershock posed for pictures with children and their families.

PKS can go undiagnosed, which makes it difficult for many parents to give their children the help they need. The conference was aimed at raising awareness for the condition among medical professionals and community members, and we couldn’t have been more excited to be a part of it. Kevin spoke to the parents and children about living a complete life, regardless of the ability to amass wealth or accomplish record-breaking feats.

Satisfaction in life, he said, comes with finding a way to help others, to build a legacy full of pride, and to have an impact on the world that your great-great-grandchildren will be proud of. Although the children face so many difficulties, they too can have a positive impact on the world. Through organizations like PKS Kids, these children are making others aware of their situations, which inevitably will help form an irreplaceable bond among families affected by the syndrome.

Though a PKS diagnosis may seem sad or even hopeless to many, it was striking how joyful the families were. Even the atmosphere of the conference was positive and inviting. While most conferences feature business casual attire, at least, and often drones of monotonous lectures and statistics, this was much different. Children laughed and played together as they enjoyed a good meal, while the adults chatted and compared stories about their children. Attendees were dressed in everyday outfits, and didn’t worry themselves with the politics of overly-formal introductions.

A touching family moment gives just a taste of the positive outlook the families affected by PKS had.

We had the opportunity to meet an incredible former fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti, whose photos have appeared everywhere from Elle Magazine to Revlon ads. As we enjoyed a delicious dinner, Rick told us about his newly found passion: photographing a new type of beauty.  Beauty that can be found not just in what is considered in the modeling world to be beautiful, but in the every day person. He has dedicated the last 12 years to taking photos of people with genetic disorders all over the world, and was excited to meet and photograph the PKS kids.

His excitement was contagious, and impressed upon us an important lesson: the smallest differences in our DNA or the tiny chromosomes that makes us who we are do not dictate our happiness or beauty. Instead, they are a way for us to learn about and appreciate entirely new aspects of the world. Even the smallest of the children at the conference exuded a passion for life and a feeling not of condemnation, but of potential. They had potential to change lives through spreading awareness of PKS, and they most certainly changed our lives through the opportunity to meet and talk with them.