Parents know their children will occasionally suffer from the sniffles, sore throats, the flu and a list of other childhood maladies. That’s what Lantana residents Garrett and Kelly Zindel first thought when their eight-year-old son, Kincaid, experienced a headache and vomiting.
As the symptoms persisted, Kelly called her husband, a pilot with the Air National Guard, who drove in that night from Oklahoma City.
“As a parent, you can just tell when something isn’t right,” said Zindel. “It was sheer terror for both of us.”
He took his son to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Flower Mound, where the ER doctor ran a CAT scan and an MRI on Kincaid and discovered a growth inside his brain. That discovery warranted a second MRI and consultation with a neurosurgeon.
Kincaid was transferred to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas the next morning, where the MRI revealed a two-centimeter mass above Kincaid’s pituitary gland sitting on the optic nerve. It had also invaded the fluid in his spine. After a biopsy was conducted, the pathologist’s report diagnosed Kincaid’s tumor as between Grade I and Grade II requiring a 15-month regimen of monthly chemotherapy sessions.
“The hope is the chemo will stop the tumor from growing,” said Zindel.
The chemo treatment causes Kincaid nausea and jaw pain and eventually his body may experience more side effects. As a baseball and outdoors enthusiast, Kincaid remains active, in positive spirits and thankful for the outpouring of support.
“He wants people to see him and to show them he looks good,” said Zindel.
Those people are the dozens of men, women and children who immediately sprang into action as soon as they heard the devastating news.
It started with the Mission Moms, a Lantana organization which usually helps feed the hungry or donates Christmas gifts to the less fortunate. This was a different scenario and one close to home, as Kelly is a member of the organization.
“Once we got the news, we asked ourselves how we could help,” said Kathryn Flores, founder of Mission Moms. “We organized a prayer rally and 300 people showed up…it was so amazing to see the greater community rally around Kincaid and come together like that.”
“We made an appearance, just to show them he’s doing well and we’re so humbled by all the support,” said Zindel. “It’s been touching.”
The Prayers & Cares for Kincaid rally was just the first of many efforts to rally behind the Zindels.
Lantana resident Amy Holder has sold over 600 “Team Kincaid” T-shirts for people to demonstrate their support. The Highland Village youth baseball league (in which Kincaid and Flores’ two sons play) held a tournament with its players, coaches, umpires and parents getting involved.
“This has really given us a sense of how blessed we are to be a part of this community,” said Zindel.
“That’s what I love about this community…when it really matters, everyone’s there for each other,” said Flores.
For more information on Kincaid’s fight and the things being done to support him, please visit www.facebook.com/supportteamkincaid.