Most fathers would do anything for their daughter, right? That’s certainly a true statement in 12-year-old McKenzie Carey’s case — her father helps her perform her dance routines in pageants because she can’t do it alone.
McKenzie, who lives in Georgia, has been participating in pageants since she was 5 years old, but it was a different challenge for her than the other participants.
According to Fox News, McKenzie was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease when she was 15 months old, and is unable to walk or feed herself.
But that hasn’t stopped her from competing, and her father, Mike, from becoming her pageant partner.
The pageants all started as a way for her mom to bond with her daughter and help her make friends, according to ABC News.
“We’re trying to figure out ways to help our daughter and help her enjoy life, and pageants give her an opportunity to be like other children,” Tammy Carey told ABC News.
McKenzie’s father has always been supportive of the pageant venture. But in 2010, he got even more involved.
According to Today, Mike noticed his wife was extra anxious during a pageant in 2010 while they were waiting for McKenzie’s turn on stage.
“My wife was sitting in the audience and was so stressed about McKenzie, so I decided to do something a little crazy.” Mike told Today. “I took McKenzie up on stage and did a wheelie with her wheelchair. Then I spun her around, picked her up and started doing a freestyle dance. The crowd went wild and gave us a standing ovation!”
McKenzie left that pageant with every award and has since won almost 20 trophies.
A video of the pair dancing in a pageant was uploaded to her YouTube channel on June 17, and since has gone wild.
“When our dance was over, everybody – there were probably 500 people in the room – wouldn’t stop clapping… I was blown away,” Mike told Fox News.
The success of the YouTube video has also pushed success to McKenzie’s GoFundMe page in the last few days. With a goal of reaching $100,000, the Internet has helped raise over $86,000 so far.
“Wow … I’m at a loss for words,” Tammy wrote on the page over the weekend. “I am so overwhelmed and truly touched by all the love and support we are receiving. This is truly a blessing and God is working a miracle right now. God bless you all. We will be forever grateful.”
Contact Kira Terry at email@example.com. Find her on Twitter: @kiraterry