2007-03-08 / Community

Unstoppable Lorrin Kain inspires others

By Nancy Needham Nancy@theacorn.com

A medically fragile Thousand Oaks girl, who communicates by blinking her eyes, recently competed in the Miss Preteen Pasadena competition, where she was embraced by the other contestants. In her wheelchair 12year-old Lorrin Kain took the stage and was presented to the judges.

Lorrin Kain at pageant Lorrin Kain at pageant "The other girls in the pageant loved her," her mother, Karen Fink, said. "All I could think was, there's my little girl who was never supposed to live, smiling on stage."

Lorrin was born on March 15, 1994. Her mother said she appeared to be a healthy baby until she received her DPT immunization at 6 weeks old and began having uncontrollable seizures. When she was 3 months old, a team of neurologists told her there was little hope and she should prepare for her child's death, she said.

Later in her childhood, during a lifesaving tracheotomy to help her breathing problems, Lorrin's vocal cords were cut. Now she talks with her eyes. She also shrugs her shoulders, gives the thumbs-up sign, or points to photos to answer yes or no. A photo of spinach means no. A photo of Justin Timberlake means yes.

Lorrin takes a bus to attend Sequoia Middle School. She's in the school's musical and is a member of the Girl Scouts. Like other girls her age, she enjoys going to Disneyland, listening to rap music, shopping and eating chocolate, her mother said.

For the pageant, Lorrin had her heart set on a $420 dress, which her mother thought was outrageous. But she told Lorrin, "If you want this dress, you're going to have to really blink big." And so she did, her mom said.

"She is having a slumber party this weekend with five girls- five mainstream kids- coming over," Fink said.

People either embrace Lorrin or reject her. She is like the Grand Canyon: Some people see a large hole, others a great act of God, Fink said.

"Sometimes people walk up and kiss her. Sometimes there are people who won't get on the same elevator as Lorrin," she said.

Lorrin's father passed away three years ago. Fink said she and her only child have a special bond because it is just the two of them. It has not been an easy life for Fink, but she said she has come to accept her daughter has a special purpose, an important life to live, and will stay alive until her purpose is fulfilled.

" S h e prefers to be called extraordinary," Fink said.

Lives have been touched by people who r e a l i z e Lorrin has to fight every day to stay alive and uses her p r e c i o u s time to exude love. Others who have been u n h a p p y with their children for one reason or another have been inspired by w a t c h i n g Lorrin and h e r m o t h e r 's u n c o n d i tional love, Fink said.

"When people see what Lorrin is going through, they are able to put the problems they are having with their children into perspective," Fink said.

Fink noted that having a child with special needs is like running a marathon that does not end.

"She's never been able to eat ice cream, walk or talk, but she's my teacher, and I'm proud to be her mother."

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