Many people run for the exercise, but for Kendric Campbell, running is all about having fun and being fast. While Kendric’s speed is impressive, nothing is as impressive as his courage. When Kendric was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer at age 3, he and his family bravely faced the future as a team.
Under the direction of two wonderful young ladies, the Campbell’s community organized a run called Kilometers For Kendric to raise money for his treatments. Originally, Kendric’s parents, Mark and Erica, planned on running and having Kentric cheer them on from the sidelines since he was right in the middle of intense treatments. Kendric insisted on being a part of the event and proudly ran between his mom and dad, as little brother Davis tagged along in his jogging stroller. As the family crossed the finish line, they were welcomed with heartwarming cheers.
When Kendric found out he would be visiting Give Kids The World for his wish trip, he couldn’t wait to begin a new adventure! While researching their trip, wish mom, Erica, found out about the Dawn Brancheau Foundation Dream Big 5K. When she realized that the run was schedule during their wish trip and that part of the proceeds would benefit GKTW, she knew they had to be a part of it.
Erica emailed the Village to share their plans. “My son loves to run, so we are excited to be part of the Dream Big 5K in support of your wonderful resort. We can’t wait to see Kendric’s face once we arrive at his dream!”
The morning of the 5K, Kendric was ready for another run. “I think I am faster than Dad. Probably because I play soccer,” explained Kendric. When the Campbells crossed the finish line as a family, Kendric was presented with the Favorite Runner Award and a Shamu plush toy. When little brother, Davis, spotted this toy, he knew he had to have one. Lucky for Davis, the second place runner was more than happy to share his winnings.
Although the running part of their wish trip was over, there was still plenty of fun to be had! The Campbells spent the remainder of their week enjoying Central Florida’s attractions and the Village’s nighttime entertainment.
“Give Kids The World is the most magical place in the world without a doubt in my mind,” said wish mom, Erica. “I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful this place is. The villas, the entertainment, the food, the atmosphere, the pool, the park, the castle, the game room and absolutely everything about this place took my breath away. The staff and volunteers were always so pleasant and helpful. All the parks treated us as first class and Kendric had a great time at each one of them. I am so thankful to Give Kids The World! You gave my son so many laughs and smiles, the most I have seen since his diagnosis almost 2 years ago.”
Thank you, Campbell family, for including us in your wish trip and participating in the Dream Big 5K! To follow Kenric’s journey and cheer him on, visit Kendric’s Facebook page.
Interested in following Kenric’s footsteps? Lace up your sneakers and join team Run GKTW at the 2014 Walt Disney World® Marathon or the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Registration is now open at gktw.org/run.