2018 Kosair Kids Class of Celebrities

A new class of celebrities will make appearances at Kentucky Derby Festival events this year. Kosair Charities has partnered with the Derby Festival to present the 2018 Kosair Kids Class of Celebrities. These six children are each celebrities in their own rite – some fighting to overcome debilitating illness with courage, tenacity and always a smile; others choosing to give of themselves to help others. Each will get to participate in a select Festival event in 2018 and receive the VIP treatment.

“This class showcases amazing kids from around Kentuckiana who inspire everyone they meet,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “We’re honored to have them join us for this year’s Festival and to be able to showcase all the good Kosair Charities does for children in our community.”

This year’s Celebrity Class includes:

Age: 13

Macy’s Presents the Spring Fashion Show.

Laiken’s involvement with Kosair Charities® began six years ago when she was just seven years old.

As the very first member of the Kosair Kids® Club, her involvement is quite notable for this accomplished young lady. From creating her own lemonade stands, participation in the Kosair Charities Halloween Zoo Party, Christmas wrapping parties, and the Holiday Party for over 600 Kosair Kids, to her current involvement with the Kosair High Five Club, her enthusiasm and enjoyment for what she does is unwavering.

An admitted fashionista, Laiken loves everything runway-related and follows all the latest trends and styles in the worlds of fashion and beauty.  And being the industrious one that she is, to help fund her love of fashion she has put her creative talents to good use with her monogramming machine, selling personalized (and quite stylish) decals to family and friends.

As the initial and oldest member of the Kosair Kids Club, Laiken is sometimes referred to as Chairwoman of the Board, a much-deserved moniker that perfectly describes her! With her unique professionalism, along with her love of Kosair Kids, Laiken genuinely embraces her Kosair involvement and how meaningful it is, something that truly makes her smile from ear to ear.

Laiken currently attends St. Margaret Mary and is looking forward to attending Assumption High School next year.  Her interests are as varied as one might expect from a young lady of such exemplary interests and skills. Laiken has performed in several local plays and productions and enjoys sports, including field hockey and swimming for the Plainview Swim Club.

The sky’s the limit for this commendable 13 year old, and Kosair Charities is extremely proud of Laiken, and grateful to her for her love of Kosair Kids.  She is honored to represent all Kosair Kids at this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival Kosair Kids Class of Celebrities.

Age: 15

U.S. Bank Great Balloon Charity Race.

Bree is a 15 year old girl from Southern Indiana currently battling a relapse of Ewing’s Sarcoma (a bone and soft tissue cancer). Bree was first diagnosed in December 2015 with cancer in her entire right pelvis, sacrum, spine and femur. She was in treatment all of 2016 and did 14 rounds of chemo and 64 radiation treatments.

She relapsed in June 2017 with 2 new spots in her spine and eventually numerous tumors in both lungs. She has done 9 rounds of relapse chemo to date and has failed all 3 chemotherapy combinations they’ve attempted. She’s also had an additional 60 radiation treatments and 1 lung surgery removing 5 tumors. She is scheduled to have another lung surgery in late April to remove tumors on the other lung. They’re running out of front line chemo options. Chemo has been stopped at this time while the family tries to decide whether to do a clinical trial or not and if so, where to go.

Since 2016 Bree has attended Kosair supported agency Campy Quality.  She is so excited to part of the inaugural Kosair Kid Celebrity Class.

Age: 9

The Children’s Tea with the Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses.

Jenna is 9-year-old who might be teaching the Derby Princesses something about style.  She is a bold and confident fashionista.  Four years ago she was selected to receive her very own custom playhouse from Kosair Charities, BICF and YouthBuild Louisville. The house is also meant to disguise therapy as fun, so when Jenna is in the kitchen pretending to cook, she’s practicing her standing too. When the planning began, she met the planners about how the house might be designed, she handled herself like a grown-up. For the record, she picked a pink and purple color scheme.

Jenna was born prematurely, and at 18 months old she was diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia, a form of white-matter brain injury that affects motor skills. That led to a diagnosis of spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, also known as Little’s Disease, characterized by tightness or stiffness in the lower extremities.

Jenna had two surgeries. First came a dorsal rhizotomy, which accesses the spine and selectively destroys problematic nerve roots to relieve leg spasticity. Then in March 2014, she had a femoral osteotomy, a difficult procedure that typically involves cutting, shaping or removing bone. Jenna had the procedure on both hips.

Jenna has received direct support from Kosair Charities, including an adaptive eating seat that insurance would not cover. And since age 3 she has received occupational and physical therapy at the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapy, which receives major support from Kosair Charities.

Ages: 12 & 10

Republic Bank Pegasus Parade.

Olivia Allen joined the Kosair Charities Kids Club in the Spring of 2015 when she donated 117 brand new toys that she collected during a month-long toy drive during March of that year. Since then, Olivia has remained loyal to helping Kosair by volunteering in many ways. In the fall of 2016, Olivia baked two sweet potato pies for our annual Pie Auction – helping us to raise over $800 for kids in need. In 2017, Olivia created her very own non-profit called “Girls Giving for Good” to help other young women her age give back to those in need. One of GG4G’s first projects was hosting a book drive at Barnes and Noble for Kosair Charities, and it was there she brought her younger sister, Alexandra on board. Together, Olivia and Alexandra collected over 100 chapter books for Kosair Kids® in October of 2017. Kosair Charities is proud to have Kids Club members like Olivia and Alexandra Allen. They are truly making the world a better place.”

Age: 5

Celebrity Day at the Downs Presented by Kentuckiana Honda Dealers.

Henry Hinson is a 5-year-old with bigger dreams and more personality than most people have in a lifetime. Henry was born with the spinal defects spina bifida and Chiari II malformation, as well as hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain. The fact that he has little to no feeling from the waist down and is a full-time wheelchair user does not define Henry or discourage him. He and his family are of the mindset that he simply has to adapt, and he does. Henry is no stranger to Kosair Charities and their supported agencies. Besides Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky, he also receives therapy at The Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies, and he has received financial assistance through the Kosair Kids® Program.