When my mom was pregnant with me, the doctor told my parents there was a high probability I’d be born with a twisted femur and to prepare for a child that would never walk. That night, my dad prayed that I be born healthy and promised God that if He answered his prayer, he would spend the rest of his life giving back to children who weren’t as fortunate. That’s how Kidd’s Kids was born.
When my father, Kidd Kraddick, founded Kidd’s Kids in 1991, the trip was a bus ride to Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. His goal was to bring hope and happiness to kids with life-threatening and life altering conditions and help them make memories that would last a lifetime. Over the years, the trip has evolved into a 5 day all expense trip to Walt Disney World and we’ve taken over 100 children and their families. Justin Beiber, Austin Mahone, Laura Morano, Rachel Platten, and Ryan Cabrera have all been on the trip. Kidd’s Kids has continued to grow in ways I could have never imagined.
2 years ago, I started the Kidd’s Kids Teen Trip, an idea that came from my first trip to Disney World after losing my dad. I was 23 years old, grieving over the loss of my dad and still living life in a complete blur. But the second I walked into Magic Kingdom, the magic took over.
For years, I’d witnessed the joy Disney World brought to countless children, but for the first time, I experienced it firsthand. For a few days, I was able to let go of all the hurt and pain and if Disney could do that for me, why couldn’t it do that for older kids not only dealing with a serious medical diagnosis but all the other things that go along with being a teenager? That’s when I came up with the idea of the Teen Trip.
Even though I’m the original Kidd’s Kid, I’m not sure I ever saw myself in this place. I always knew I would be involved with Kidd’s Kids in some capacity, I just didn’t know how. It’s almost surreal to now be running the charity I’ve literally been involved with since birth. Kidd’s Kids has always been a part of my life and I always knew it would be. My dad founded the charity in honor of his baby and now it’s my baby. And I see it differently now.
I think my dad would be really proud of the way we’ve grown the charity. Kidd’s Kids was the best part of my dad and it’s an honor to carry on his legacy.