“I’m doing the marathon for Lainey. I would do anything to help Lainey and kids. It’s a no-brainer to me to try to give back and help kids,” said Kalafut, an Acworth resident who has run the Marine Corp Marathon three times and participated in other events such as the Ironman Competition. She and her husband, Chris, have five children.
“Spina bifida occurs when the spine does not fuse, leaving an open wound on the back of the newborn. There is no cure for spina bifida,” Barfield said.
Barfield met Kalafut when her son, Ben, and Kalafut’s son, Christopher, were in kindergarten together. Seven-year-old Lainey was born when the boys, now freshmen at Harrison High School, were in third grade. The Barfields have another son, Whit, a junior at Harrison.
Children with spina bifida often have multiple complications and surgeries such as neurological (shunt implantation for hydrocephalus), orthopedics (leg and spine surgery), wound care, urologic (bladder and bowel procedures), as well as latex allergies that are sometimes deadly.
“It is not uncommon to hear that a child with spina bifida could have more than 25 operations before they reach their 18th birthday. There is a reason they are called Million Dollar Babies,” said Barfield, a Kennesaw resident.
Barfield said life with Lainey can be demanding, with many trips to the hospital, surgeries, weekly trips to therapists and getting her into and out of a wheelchair.
“These are offset by watching a bright, cheerful girl overcome these challenges without ever complaining. Lainey is an amazing child that brings joy to everyone that knows her. It is an honor that God chose me to be her mom,” Barfield said.
The money raised for Team Spina Bifida supports important programs and services to help people and families affected by spina bifida. Their goal is to raise $5,000. A tax-deductible gift can be made at tinyurl.com/okpt49l.
“Your support means so much to not only Lainey and me, but also to the thousands of people living with spina bifida,” Barfield said.