Life can sometimes deal you a tough hand, and you can either give in or fight the fight. This dad chose to stay positive and help his baby deal with a rough situation.
Kennith and Josilyne Thomas own a dance studio in New Jersey. Their son Kristian was born with Down syndrome and a blood disorder, and by June 19, he was diagnosed with leukemia.
“In my mind as a father and as a believer and a leader of this family, I went into quarterback mode: What’s the plan? How are we going to make this happen? How will we get him well? It hit our whole family,” Thomas said, per The Inquirer in a July 24 report.
The 34-year-old father was determined to stay positive and support his 16-month-old son. The couple were at the hospital every night, while supportive family and friends looked after their three other kids.
He posted regular photo updates to Instagram and many videos to his “Kenny Clutch” Facebook page.
Then, one morning they got news from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that 15-month-old Kristian was ready to go home.
An excited Thomas arrived at the hospital and was inspired to dance for Kristian. Thomas danced to Ciara’s “Level Up” song.
Kristian was totally “into” it, and as Dad said: “He’s dancing with me, on beat clapping and it’s like you can’t ask for anything better than that in life. It’s priceless,” reports NBC New York.
Thomas posted the cute video online, and ended up with millions of views.
Thomas and Kristian were nominated by Ciara’s fans as winners of Ciara’s “Level Up” challenge. The challenge invites fans to demonstrate their best moves while sharing their personal plan on bettering themselves or to “level up.”
And they ended up winning Ciara’s challenge!
Ciara herself was inspired and reposted the video to her own account, where it garnered 2.7 million views.
The singer paid young Kristian and his family a visit at Thomas’s dance studio and stayed for a couple of hours.
“She said she felt like it was family hanging out, and it was really cool,” said Thomas, The Inquirer reported on Aug. 6. “We was just vibing.”
The singer donated $5,000 to the family’s trust account for Kristian’s expenses, and Ciara gifted them with some of her own merchandise too.
Kristian still has a long way to go, as he faces many hospital visits, chemotherapy, and endless tests.
Still, “he’s a little fireball,” said Thomas, reports The Washington Post. “He’s always energetic.”
“It’s a life-threatening situation, and we’re going to look that in the face and move forward and have a victory at the end,” Thomas added.
“He’s taking it like a champion. He’s very, very strong.”