Community rallies behind NC teen girl who can’t eat

EDEN, N.C. (WFMY) — Breakfast, lunch and dinner all go through the tube. On the other end is 13-year-old Kenzie Holmes.
“It’s been hard,” Kenzie says. “Very hard.”

Kenzie has been diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Motility Disorder, which means her stomach no longer digests food. She has to take a feeding tube with her wherever she goes and it requires monitoring around the clock.

“It’s almost like having a baby at home again,” says Lisa Price, Kenzie’s mother.

She does her schoolwork from home now and has been sidelined from cheerleading competitions. She still goes to practice to support her team.

Kenzie says she always had acid reflux, but back in October she was having more trouble keeping food down. Her mom started watching her and realized it was happening every time she ate.

“She’s like ‘Oh, I thought it was normal.’ I was like no. That’s not normal,” she said.

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Kenzie has been in and out of doctor’s visits since October. She was hospitalized for two weeks in January because she was malnourished – that’s when the feeding tube went in.

Kenzie and her mom learned there’s no cure for what she has, just treatment. For that, Kenzie and her mom would have to go see special doctors in Ohio or Boston. There aren’t any specialists she needs in North Carolina. Kenzie hopes to be a candidate for a gastric pacemaker, which would allow her to eat again.

“That’s what we’re hoping for because I really don’t want a feeding tube for the rest of my life,” Kenzie said.

No one else does either. Her family, friends, her triplet brother and sister, her cheer team and a lot of local businesses are rallying behind her. They’ve been wearing and selling #Pray4Kenzie bracelets to help with travel expenses.

Despite it all, Kenzie, like any true cheerleader, still has good spirit.

“I think she’s handled it better than I have at times,” Price said. “She is my strong little girl. She’s my tough cookie.”

Kenzie and her family are waiting to hear back when they might be able to see doctors out of state. The wait time could be four months.

© 2017 WFMY-TV

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