LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – About 30 percent of children with rare diseases won’t live to see their 5th birthday.
A new traveling exhibit called Beyond the Diagnosis, partnered with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, wants to bring awareness to that and many other issues they face.
A portrait of 4-year-old Kynnedi Sturges of Camden will play a big part in delivering the message. Kynnedi’s painting will be among 40 others highlighting children battling different types of diseases.
Kynnedi has sickle cell anemia. She and her mother saw the work of art for the first time Thursday. It brought tears of joy.
“It’s just real special to me. It made my heart smile because that picture, and the painting it shows who Kynnedi is,” Kynnedi’s mother Domonique Sturgis said. “Her spirit is so beautiful.”
North Little Rock artist Rex Deloney said the moment was also special for him.
“I didn’t meet Kynnedi until today, but I felt like I knew her from the process of painting the picture,” Deloney said. “I got her approval and her mom’s approval, so that’s all that matters to me.”
The exhibit will be on display at the Thea Foundation in North Little Rock from Oct. 9-26.