This is my niece Kristin Zambrano Keehn, a real life angel walking among us. She is 18 years old and a student at Hillcrest High School in Strawberry, Arkansas. Kristin is developmentally disabled, but by God’s grace she is able to live a pretty normal life. She can't read or write, but she does things most kids do. Her favorite day of the week is Sunday, when she gets to go to church. Her church family has become a very special part of her life and we are grateful for them. Kristin doesn’t know she is different, all she knows is happiness and somehow her happiness pours into the hearts of others, with her always present, always contagious smile. As you can see in the photos above Kristin knows no vanity, and even with her toothless smile, she finds a way to brighten the world of those around her. Unfortunately, Kristin has lost several teeth over the years due to her disability and bad genetics.
Although rich in spirit, her family of seven struggles financially to make ends meet -- sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but they keep moving forward. They are a humble family, and I suspect my brother Ken and his wife Kris, will probably get mad at me for asking for help, but I have to try. With today’s sky-high dental costs, there is no possible way they can ever come up with the resources to restore Kristin’s beautiful smile! That’s why I’m calling on those who believe in angels like I do, because this angel’s smile could be so much brighter with some beautiful teeth to fill in those dark spaces.
She has an appointment with a dentist next week to see what they can do. I suspect the cost to be in the thousands, but I'm not sure yet. I will update this when we find out. I ask for your help because without your support this won’t be possible. A penny, a dollar, anything is something and will bring her that much closer to a pearly white smile. I can speak for the entire family when I say they would be forever grateful.
Now it is more important than ever. Besides being able to enjoy an apple or two and having a healthier mouth, she has a very special day coming up. The picture posted above is Kristin trying on a prom dress! You see, a remarkable young man said he would be proud to take her to the prom. That young man is Kristin’s 17-year old brother, Jordan, who has always been her protector. (I guess you could say I’m the proudest aunt in the world). And knowing the family's financial situation, a few warm-hearted folks in the community got together and Kristin was able to borrow this dress for what will be the most special day of her life. When she tried the dress on, she was overjoyed because she thought she looked like Elsa, from the movie Frozen. You can see in the picture how happiness radiated from her eyes that day. I have to admit that I cried tears of joy over her innocence and imagination, but at the same time my heart sank knowing she should have teeth to fill her ear-to-ear smile on this special day, for those special photographs.
You've heard the phrase, “Smile and the world smiles with you”. That's what Kristin does naturally. She can't help it. She was born into this life a true angel of God, and what makes her truly special, beyond that smile, is that she is thankful for everyone and everything.
God bless everyone for taking the time to read Kristin's story. Please share it!
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