CCA, in words, is... facts, connection, support, understanding, friends, and family. Our CCA journey started with getting facts on Kate and her syndrome. Without the financial help we initially received, Kate may not have had the same outcome medically. CCA worked on connecting us with others with Kate’s condition. We got from them family support and understanding from people who truly get what you go through and the path you walk. The friends we made through CCA and the Annual Family Retreats are now a part of our family! Thank you CCA for being there every step of the way!
-Stacy McAllister, Kate McAllister’s Mother
Kate lives with her Mom, Stacy, Dad, Alan, and 11-year-old brother, Leland in Saint Paul Park, Minnesota. Her eldest brother, Dakota, 24, is a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard. This avid baker, girly-girl fashionista, dancer and US traveler is a fifth grader at Pullman Elementary School. Next year, she will join her brother at Olman Middle School.
|Kate and CCA Adult and friend,|
Kate connects with her CCA friends around the country through her culinary skills. Mom, Stacy, is encouraging because she knows baking brings self-esteem and a smile to Kate’s face. Mom feels, though this hobby is at times expensive, it is so very worth it for Kate. Mother and daughter look up recipe ideas on Pinterest, gather ingredients, and whip up batches of baked goods. While cookies and brownies are her favorites to make, she has some extra special ideas with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas just around the corner.
Connection is not only born in the kitchen, but also on the family
|Kate and CCA Friend, Avery Cooper|
Stacy shares that raising Kate made her more of a helicopter parent, one that is now far more overprotective of her youngest child. Mom is always aware of where Kate is, who she is with, and tends to worry more when Kate is out on her own.
“I am amazed at the amount of people in our world that can’t see past the outside of her to the amazing, beautiful human she is. She is beautiful in every way that is important. Many who take the time to know her, love her!!”
Stacy’s concerns especially extend to the impending transition to middle school, where Kate will encounter kids from the six other elementary schools in the district. “All those new kids -- It’s overwhelming,” Stacy says.
Right now, though, the McAllister’s will encourage Kate to stay in the moment, and enjoy this year through baking, attending monster truck rallies, camping, and bonfires. Time together in nature is especially restorative for this family, as they want to make the most of the great outdoors before the freezing cold, winter weather descends on the midwest. In the months before Fall 2020, when Kate goes to middle school, the McAllister’s know their CCA network will be there to lift them up.
Stacy sums up the relationships she has with other CCA families by stating their family is, “blessed with the most amazing women and men that have been at my side, or on the other side of the phone. They walked into our lives, giving us true, unconditional friendship and understanding that those who do not live this life will never understand.”