Group raising funds for Southington girl with cancer

reporter photo

SOUTHINGTON — Friends of Kendall Lord, diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer, are planning a fundraiser later this month to send the seven-year-old girl and her family to Disney World.

Treatment options for the seven-year-old have been exhausted, although she’s not in pain or discomfort, said Michelle Kerski, a friend of Kendall’s mother. The focus is on “the time that she has left and making the most of it,” Kerski added.

Supporters are looking to raise money for the Disney trip as well as other events for the family to give them “the best summer they possibly can,” Kerski said.

The fundraiser at Kinsmen Brewing, 409 Canal St., is scheduled for Sunday, June 26 from noon to 3 p.m. It will include terrarium building for those who have signed up, raffles and a DJ while the brewing company will donate $1 to the cause for each beer sold.

Kerski and Danielle Lord, Kendall’s mom, met in a plant Facebook group several years ago while both were searching for a rare plant. The two struck up a friendship that went beyond their shared hobby.

“Danielle is just the most generous, giving kindhearted person that I’ve ever met,” Kerski said.

Danielle Lord said Monday she was aware of the fundraiser and that the family was focused on making the most of their time together.

Kerski said she was “heartbroken” to learn about Lord’s daughter. Building terrariums as part of the fundraiser to help the family seemed fitting.

“It’s really fun and relaxing,” Kerski said. “It’s something that’s near and dear to me and Danielle’s hearts.”

Attending the event is free. There’s a $35 sign-up charge for the terrarium building.

More information can be found at

Disney trip

Kendall, who was diagnosed with autism in addition to cancer, went to Disney World with the Make-a-Wish foundation.

“Danielle would love to do that again,” Kerski said. “Kendall is a Disney girl through and through.”

She’s hoping to gather $10,000 and on Monday had gotten more than $6,000 from a GoFundMe campaign.

“It looks like it will be possible with the donations that this community has already come together with,” Kerski said.

Kendall will be joined on the trip by her parents, Danielle and Bryan Lord, and her two brothers.

The effort’s website is

Kerski is also looking for local attractions that would sponsor trips for the Lord family, as well as groups or businesses that would donate items for the fundraiser’s raffle. She’s hoping the family can pack the summer with fun things for Kendall.

“Whatever we can pull together for the family, just keep it rolling all summer long,” Kerski said.

Outpouring of support

In September 2020, hundreds of friends, family and members of the local community attended a fundraiser at YMCA Camp Sloper for the then 5-year-old's cancer treatment.

Organizers and family said at the time that Lord was diagnosed with Wilms' Tumor, a rare form of kidney cancer, in February 2019 and underwent intensive chemotherapy treatment. She was in remission by November, but the cancer relapsed a few months later and she received treatment for much of 2020.

Everywhere the Lord family goes in Southington, it seems like someone recognizes Kendall Lord and is stopping to say hello to her, Danielle Lord said at the time. "She just radiates love and people float to her.”

“It's been a remarkable rollercoaster ride,” Mary Peterman, Lord's preschool teacher, told the Record-Journal in 2020, “but Kendall's strength and determination has inspired all of us. Nothing slowed her down — whenever she was out for a bout of chemo, she came back and didn't lose skills, just raring to go and ready to learn. She is amazing."

Reporter Jesse Buchanan can be reached at


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