McKenna's Story--Love Lives On

There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on this earth.

On Monday, September 16th, McKenna Joiner danced ahead of her loved ones and into the arms of the angels. She was 7 years old. Sassy, sweet, kind, and funny, this precious little girl who loved to sparkle and shine left the world a better place than she found it. Her time with us was short; but while here, she touched the heart of every person who knew her. This was McKenna, and this is her story.

McKenna was Shelly and Kevin Joiner’s special gift from Heaven—born on Kevin’s 50th birthday—and not a year passed in the last 7 that he did not celebrate in little-kid style! From McDonalds to mermaids and every sparkly thing in between, her parents made sure that McKenna knew it was HER day and that Kevin was just lucky enough to share it.

She was the baby girl of a family always in motion. Shelly and Kevin shared 4 children between them—hers, his and theirs—and adopting McKenna, her brother and sister made for 7. But if you know this loving couple, then you know that all of the kids are really “theirs.” They’ve got hearts as big as any you’ll find, and their children are their lives. It’s easy to use the label “good parents,” but the two of them truly live it. They could teach a Master Class on how to keep all the plates spinning—swim meets, practices, school, soccer, work, church, home-cooked meals and home-grown fun. And every bit of it sprinkled with laughter and love.

Last week, the unimaginable touched this sweet family. McKenna suffered a massive stroke while at swim practice; and in spite of the doctors’ skilled efforts, she could not be brought back again. As they always do, Shelly and Kevin thought of others in the face of this tragedy and honored McKenna’s love of life by allowing her to be an organ donor. McKenna may not dance again in her own body, but she will live on to dance in others and bless them and their loved ones with the Gift of Life.

McKenna is not lost. She’s just danced ahead of us all.

We will catch up, sweet girl, and be together again someday.

We are asking that you please consider a donation to Shelly and Kevin as they grieve the sudden passing of McKenna. Your kindness will help them with final expenses, medical bills, and unexpected costs in the coming days and allow them time to heal as a family without the added burden of financial worries.
McKenna Joiner's Celebration of Life
Join us as we celebrate McKenna’s life on Sunday, September 22nd, from 2-4pm at Cinco Bayou Town Hall (across from Cinco Baptist Church on the corner of Kidd and Yacht Club). Put on your bright clothes and your big smiles and drop by to share a hug and a happy memory of our special little girl! This is a completely casual drop-in event, and there will be no formal service; so, feel free to come by for a few minutes and celebrate McKenna’s sparkle! Food will be served. No flowers please.

Donations (0)

  • Tammy Remar 
    • $100 
    • 6 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Pat & norman Hughes 
    • $50 
    • 12 d
  • Sandra Garner 
    • $100 
    • 15 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 19 d

Fundraising team (3) 

Sandy North 
Raised $625 from 3 donations
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Shelly Joiner 
Carolyn Draper 
Team member
Raised $305 from 5 donations
This team raised $10,335 from 68 other donations.
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