UNION TOWNSHIP | Kendyll Pennington has watched her mom and stepdad take care of their son for the past six months and is amazed by their faith.
Kendyll's brother, Kilyean, was born June 19, 2012, with Wollf Parkinson White Syndrome. His parents are Jessi and Keith King. WPW syndrome is the presence of an extra, abnormal electrical pathway in the heart that leads to periods of a very fast heartbeat (tachycardia).
"We realized he had this before he was born, said Kendyll. "My mom found out during an ultrasound because his heart was beating so fast. They had to do an emergency C-section. It was a rough summer."
Kilyean was taken by ambulance from St Anthony's in Crown Point to Christ Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn several times, and once even by helicopter. The hospital and prescription bills are mounting and Kendyll has decided to help her family.
The 16-year-old junior at Wheeler High School has organized a fundraiser from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Carpenters Union Hall, 1104 6th St., LaPorte. Tickets are $12 at the door and include an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner. There will be music provided by a disc jockey, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and kids' games.
"I have been there since the beginning through all this and it's very scary," said Kendyll. "He has not had any episodes for a month so we take things one day at a time. He was hooked up to a monitor and when it goes off due to problems we have to take him to the emergency room immediately."
Kendyll came up with the fundraiser idea on her own.
"I've watched my mom and Keith struggle," she said. "They are amazing people and their faith has stayed strong. (It's) hard to see the burden on their faces."
For information about the fundraiser, call (219) 508-6139. donations can also be made at Kilyean Benefit Fund at any Horizon bank location.