EDWARDSVILLE - Tons of people gathered at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville this afternoon to join the Masinelli family to celebrate Kelan's 10th birthday.
After being diagnosed with Lissencephaly at only four months old Kelan has missed out on a lot of family experiences that most take for granted, like simply playing at the park with his sister and parents. So this year the family decided to celebrate Kelan hitting double digits in a big way.
The Masinelli's recently received a grant from the Make a Wish foundation and rather than use the wish for a family trip they choose to install a wheelchair accessible swing at the Boundless Playground. Unfortunately, the grant wasn't enough to cover the complete cost of the install, so the family decided to commemorate Kelan's birthday with a free screening of the Lego Batman movie to help raise funds to make their dream a reality.
"We're really here to celebrate most importantly his birthday," Kelan's father Tim said. "It's kind of a big deal for our son with his diagnosis to reach the age of ten. We got the Make a Wish grant, I mean we were real fortunate. We struggled with trying to figure the right thing to do and I think after a while we figured out that it had to be something that him or kids like him can enjoy for a long time."
Kelan's mother Jamie and Tim said that going to the park as family with their son and daughter has always been a difficult task. Just around the park with the wheelchair and playing being able to play together has been a struggle for the family. So the decision to get the swing was not only a gift they knew would benefit their family but others in the community also.
Tim and Jamie said they've received so much support over the years after Kelan's diagnosis that they felt compelled to give back in some in way.
"We just felt compelled to give back as much as we could since we were fortunate to have all the help and support and help," Tim said. "We knew we weren't the only families like this and we certainly know a lot of them that fight like us. We would have never done this if we didn't this kind of support."
Jamie said it's exciting for the family to get closer and closer to making their wish a reality.
"I cannot wait," Jamie said. "We really hope that this will happen this year because time is short sometimes. But I cannot wait for Kelan to actually be able to swing on the swing. I can't even express how awesome and amazing that will be. It's been a long time since he's been able to swing in an actual swing."
More information about Kelan's wish can be found at Make Kelan's Wish Come True on Facebook.