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Community Grants Holiday Wish

Erik Hughes with baby Autumn.  Photo by Shutter Branch Photography
Erik Hughes with Autumn.
Photo by Shutter Branch Photography.

Good evening VVNG, we would like to introduce you to a beautiful little girl named Autumn Kenney, 5, and a resident of Victorville. Autumn  is currently fighting a fight with Mitochondrial Disease, Leighs Disease & a Complex IV Deficiency. Autumn was diagnosed with her terminal illness at two years old.  Since than her parents have been told on countless occasions to say their goodbyes. Each time Autumn has pulled through and is here today many years after her diagnosis.

VVNG would like to share a brief story about the kindness that fills our community. Recently a viewer from our Victor Valley News page contacted the admins to make us aware about the fb page Autumn’s Mito Fighting Angels. Keep in mind this person did not personally know the family, just simply followed Autumns journey via the updates made on fb. This complete stranger felt compelled to share with us a special wish the family had.

Due to Autumn’s medical condition getting the entire family of 8 together in a photo studio is not an easy challenge. Autumn’s mother also expressed that taking her out to see Santa in places like the mall was dangerous because of the germs that can expose her medically fragile daughter to. The wish was to have Santa visit the family’s home and take family portraits with Santa in front of the Christmas Tree.

autumnAfter racking our brain’s we started to connect the dots and decided to see what we could do as a community to help this family. Almost immediately VVNG member Erik Hughes with Christmas BlessingsHD came to mind. Erik has been keeping busy this holiday season playing the role of Santa for several local events. We decided to reach out to him and without hesitation he said, “sign me up”! 

Next we made a post in our sister group Victor Valley 411, asking the group members if any photographers would be interested in volunteering and making this special request become a reality. We never imagined receiving such an overwhelming response with offers from so many photographers wanting to help. Within minutes we had confirmed with photographer Amanda L. Basurto with ShutterBranch Photography.  At the same time local hairstylist/make up artist Vanessa Duarte also offered her services. Additionally, the wonderful owners at Affordable RV also reached out to us expressing they wanted to help purchase gifts for the children.

On the evening of Thursday, December 12th Santa went to pay this family a visit. Family photos were taken and the children were able to visit with Santa. This is just an addition to the many stories that show we are part of an amazing community that helped make this small Christmas wish become a reality.

Thank you to each person involved in making this wish become a reality. Moments like this are what make the Victor Valley a great place to live. We are also excited to continue to follow Autumn and her family and will continue to send positive thoughts their way.

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