McKenna M, age 13

Photograph by Tricia Simon (2023)
McKenna comes across quiet, but once you get her going, watch out! She is a jokester and social butterfly at heart. If you play a song she loves, her personality comes bursting out at the seams. She also loves camping, going out to eat, and playing games.

Being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Costello syndrome, McKenna has had more hospital stays, surgeries, scans, and appointments than most children. She has still continued to make major strides: at age four she took her first steps; at five, she no longer needed a feeding tube. Perhaps the best achievement so far is receiving the Richland One “Shiny Star Award” for overcoming overwhelming challenges to succeed in school and life.  

“She’s faced more challenges and obstacles in life than most and always manages to come out on top and with a smile,” Sue, her mom says.

McKenna’s family gives her the credit for making them stronger, more aware, and more appreciative for the little things in life that often get taken for granted. Her parents want the world to know she’s a super cool kid who loves to be social with all people.

Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.