The past eight years have been a time of competition and turmoil for 9-year-old, Kynsa Kelly. Along with her sisters, she missed a lot of school, her father said.
Now she is going home.
On Thursday, Kynsa Kelly, who stands 5 feet tall, walked back into her Maryland elementary school for the first time since she got sick in 2014, shortly after the end of her first year. She is smiling and radiant — now, she wears a sparkling princess crown that once belonged to Princess Leia.
Kynsa Kelly’s father, Frank, told CNN Kynsa Kelly graduated from fifth grade, never missing a day. He holds out hope the young girl is able to gain some sense of normalcy soon.
“It’s almost like we’re getting her home now,” Frank Kelly, Kynsa’s father, told CNN. “She’s so happy and excited to be coming back to school and joining all of her friends, family and her classmates.”
Kelly, who is also a father, told CNN that she graduated from fifth grade, never missing a day.
She is moving to a new school, Golden Bear Elementary in Fort Washington, Maryland, and her father said he believes that will help reconnect her with friends.
Kynsa’s story has warmed hearts around the world, inspiring people to make her feel special. But what has really brought the mother from Howard County tears of joy are the many letters that people have sent to her.
“I’ve read over and over again the hundreds of letters I’ve received,” Kelly told CNN. “They’re so inspiring.”
One of her favorite letters came from a mother whose baby girl is suffering a heart condition. The girl has battled with health issues since birth, including a rare type of birth defect called trisomy 18.
Kelly shared the letter, as well as a YouTube video, of the letter Kynsa received after being crowned the homecoming queen.
In the letter, the mother explained how she raised her child “with such courage and joy,” despite being diagnosed with a host of health issues.
“You’re my hero Kynsa because you’re so brave. You and your sisters were my precious angel, and you gave birth to a beautiful little baby girl with 1,728 heart complications. That’s a heart condition that I was diagnosed with when I was three months pregnant,” the letter says.
As the mother wept at the page, Kelly said she often feels the strength and strength from her own experience.
“Our family is going through a lot,” Kelly said. “But when we look at each other, we feel whole and wholeheartedly. Kynsa’s story has touched so many people, it can only inspire you too.”