A 4-year-old North Carolina girl always dreamed of being able to walk one day, but a spinal cord condition called Spina Bifida kept little Kenydii Parker bound to a wheelchair.
Last week, however, the Durham child turned her dreams into a reality by taking her first steps.
“Kenydii has the kind of spirit where she’s gonna do what she wants to do. She said just about every day that she’s gonna walk, no matter what,” Kenydii’s father, Kenneth Parker, told PEOPLE.
According to the CDC, Spina Bifida can often lead to physical and intellectual complications. Although Kenydii’s ailment limited her ability to use her legs, she was determined to never give up.
“She said, ‘Dad, I’m gonna walk! Dad, I wanna walk!’ Even when she had the cast on her leg … she’d jump off the couch. She’s got that determination in her. She never gives up,” Kenneth said.
Last week, Kenydii was at W.G. Pearson Elementary School with her classmates when she rose from her wheelchair and walked. Her classmates and closest friends stood by, clapping and cheering, “Kenydii! Kenydii!”
Her aunt Yvette Parker captured the footage and quickly shared the video on Facebook, where it has been viewed 4.6 million times.
“A class came outside and saw her walking and they started rooting her on!” Yvette told PEOPLE. “Yay, girl! Look at you go! They’re cheering for you!”
“I was shocked! I couldn’t believe she actually was walking and the smile on her face was breathtaking,” Yvette added. “She is always a happy little girl but that day her smile made me cry because all she ever wanted was to walk.”
Kenneth said that he and his wife, Terry Parker, became emotional when they saw the video of Kenydii walking.
“The first time I saw the video, I was at work,” he said. “It broke me down because everyone was cheering her on. Seeing her accomplish her main goal was a beautiful thing.”
(Photo: ABC News)