Supporting Kayla and Her Family

Kayla has SMA, a genetic neuromuscular disorder that results in muscle atrophy.  As a result of this atrophy her bone structure has been compromised.  Spinal surgery was an inevitability because the spine curve will continue to progress without the muscle support.  Her curve is now at 125 degrees and she cannot wait any longer.  Her right lung is collapsed and doctors aren’t sure how much, if any function it has.  Her rib structure has been altered dramatically as well.  Doctor recommendation at this point is to put her in halo traction to allow as much straightening as possible before doing the spine surgery and installing the “magic rods”. This will involve at least two surgeries; one to install the hardware in her skull for the “halo”, and another to put the magic rods in her spine to help continue the straightening.  Her Dad, Josh, will need to be out of work for these procedures.  The recommendation is that Kayla stay in halo until she maximizes its benefits, which is estimated to be at least three months.

This presents several challenges for her family...

Her mom, Shawna, will need to stay with Kayla in the hospital instead of being home with Kayla’s brother Brooks (age 2) and her sister Emelyn. In order for Josh to continue working and paying the bills they need someone to take care of Brooks and Emelyn. Josh and Shawna have a caregiver available to them but do not have the resources to pay for the care for this extended period of time.

We are asking for help so that they can pay a caregiver to be with their other children so Josh can continue to work, and also to bridge the gap from his standard income to the more limited schedule he’ll have to work while he is with Kayla during this time.

 “Children with SMA are given a terminal diagnosis, we have been so fortunate to have seen our girl surpass this several years ago. It is our hope that she continue to defy the odds and allow more and more of the world to see what an incredible mind and beautiful soul Kayla has!” -Josh and Shawna VanderZanden



  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 40 mos
  • Tami Firman 
    • $50 
    • 40 mos
  • Bethany Webster  
    • $20 
    • 40 mos
  • Ashley Hauser 
    • $20 
    • 40 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Tomas Zilka 
Organizer
Banks, OR
Josh VanderZanden 
Beneficiary
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