When Kenneth and Terry Parker discovered they were pregnant, the couple was absolutely overjoyed.
Then at one of Terry’s regular check-ups, the doctor gave her some startling news.
Their baby had Spina bifida.
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that happens when the spine and spinal cord don’t properly form. The condition is more common among whites, Hispanics and females, but doctors don’t really know why it occurs. Because nerves that control the leg muscles don’t work properly below the spinal defect, Spina bifida can cause difficulties walking, orthopedic complications, bowel and bladder problems, and other serious issues. Despite the drastic diagnosis, however, Kenneth and Terry were determined to give their little girl the life she deserved.
Fast-forward five years later and meet little Kenydii Parker. ‘
The adorable 4-year-old is filled with spunk and loves showing off for a crowd. “She’s very talkative, she’s a character, she has a great sense of humor,” Kenneth told PEOPLE. “She loves to sing and dance. She’s always dancing. She loves music, that’s one of her favorite things.” Despite Kennydii’s many talents and abilities, one thing remained out of reach.
The little girl wanted to walk and was willing to do anything to accomplish her dreams.
“Kenydii has the kind of spirit where she’s going to do what she wants to do,” said Kenneth. “She said just about every day that she’s going to walk, no matter what. She said, ‘Dad, I’m gonna walk! Dad, I wanna walk!’ Even when she had the cast on her leg… she’d jump off the couch.”
“She’s got that determination in her. She never gives up.”
Two weeks ago, in front of a group of her classmates, Kenydii’s dream finally came true.
On February 25, during a physical therapy session outside her school, Kenydii took her very first steps as her peers cheered her on in the background. The memorable moment was captured on film by her aunt Yvette Parker, and the footage has since gone viral.
In the video, you see a beaming Kenydii confidently taking steps with her walker as her friends cheer her on with pride.
The scene is so heartwarming, it’s hard not to tear up. Yvette told PEOPLE: “I was shocked! I couldn’t believe she actually was walking and the smile on her face was breathtaking.”
“She is always a happy little girl, but that day her smile made me cry because all she ever wanted was to walk.”
Upon returning home, Yvette shared the video to Facebook, writing: “Today starts Day 2 come on my luv you go this #Never say never #GOD has the last word. This is truly the happiest day of her life #Spina Bifida.” So far, the heartwarming footage has amassed over 5 million views.
Seeing Kenydii’s unadulterated joy at doing something most of us take for granted is humbling all at once. Her friends’ pride and encouragement are just an added touch. Since being uploaded, people have completely fallen in love with both the video and Kenydii. Comments on Yvette’s post read:
“I couldn’t do nothing but cry watching this! Gooo baby girl!”
“That smile just radiates innocence, love, and beauty! What a precious baby!”
“The smile on this baby’s face is everything!”
Watch the heartwarming video below.
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Today starts Day 2 come on my luv you got this#Never say never#GOD has the last word🙏🏾🙏🏾This is truly the happiest day of her life💯❤️#Spina Bifida
Posted by Yvette BlaqueVette Parker on Tuesday, February 26, 2019