A brain tumor has left Kristen without the use of her lower body and her treatment caused her to lose her hearing but it hasn’t stopped her from being a tireless volunteer collecting food, Christmas presents and clothes for the less fortunate.
Despite having no lower arms and serious problems with her legs, Brandy is second in her class with a 3.8 grade point average, types, plays badminton and is the statistician for the sports teams at North Vermilion High.
Brandon is classified as learning disabled but works as a teacher’s aide in a class for seriously disabled students with autism, muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases. He also holds two jobs and runs track for East Ascension High.
Jennifer is a member of the National Honor Society and on the Cabrini High Cross Country team, but also finds time to work at a New Orleans soup kitchen, volunteer at a local hospital, work with the elderly and at day care centers, act as a mentor for her fellow students and serve as a volunteer at a summer Bible camp.
Stanley is a straight-A student, an all-District halfback and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Tensas Academy in St. Joseph. After losing both his father and stepfather to cancer, Stanley helps his mother run a small restaurant and works two jobs during the summer. He also finds time to volunteer at a center which makes clothing and household items for the poor and serves as an altar boy on Sundays.
A traffic accident has confined Lauren to a wheelchair, but it has not stopped her from being an honor roll student at Natchitoches Central, a member of the Homecoming Court and volunteering her time as a peer counselor to help other young trauma victims in North Louisiana and Texas. Chosen as a Christmas Belle, she will help promote her hometown in other cities around the state. One encouraging note is that daily physical therapy is allowing her to slowly regain the use of her legs.
Blaire was born with cystic fibrosis and received a lung transplant in 1995 to sustain her life. Despite the medical hardships she has endured and the round the clock medical treatment she needs, Blaire is an honor-roll student at Houma Junior High and helps take care of her stepfather after he suffered a stroke.
Pete suffers from hypoglycemia and has a learning disability, but unselfishly volunteers his summers at the Louisiana Lion’s Club Children’s Camp for disabled children, works with special education children at a local elementary school and has worked weekends with Habitat for Humanity.
Katy was born with a rare form of cancer that paralyzed her from the chest down. She is in the Audubon Elementary gifted program where she receives straight A’s. Kay is an accomplished violinist, a peer tutor and volunteers in the school library. She was nominated for East Baton Rouge Parish Student of the Year and was one of only five children selected to speak at Louisiana’s Promise: Summit on Youth that featured former President George Bush. She helps raise money for Dreams Come True, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Candlelighters, Easter Seals and the March of Dimes.
John was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 10 and has battled the disease off and on for the last 7 1/2 years. While on chemotherapy in 1992, John pitched a perfect game in baseball and played football while he was in remission. He plays the guitar and piano, is a straight-A student at the Dunham School in Baton Rouge and has won numerous academic competitions. While attending Silliman Institute in Clinton last year, he was elected student vice-president of the Mississippi Private School Association.