ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A young local girl has a very important role in building the Major League Soccer stadium in downtown Saint-Louis. Among hundreds of workers, dozens of pieces of heavy equipment, and piles of dirt, you will see “Stella” helping set the steel.
“She played a pretty big role in the project,” said Sonny Kamper, civilian team superintendent of “MAK” (Mortenson | Alberici | L. Keeley), the companies hired to build the St. Louis MLS stadium. “We love having it here and think it’s pretty cool.”
The huge purple elevator is named after a sweet little girl, Stella.
“She is now five and a half years old and we would consider her a medically fragile child who suffers from seizures in addition to a myriad of other health issues,” said Kacie Craig, Stella’s mother.
Stella has a severe seizure disorder caused by a spontaneous genetic mutation.
“There are about 450 children around the world who have a mutation in the SCN8A gene, but Stella is 100% unique to her,” Craig said. “Stella has no control of the head, very little control of the legs and arms. She can’t sit up on her own. She doesn’t turn around. She’s non-verbal.”
But she has a pretty great family, including a grandfather named Greg.
“Stella’s grandfather Greg has worked for us for 15 years,” said Levi Dawson, president of Chase Co. Rentals. “He played a major role in helping us get to where we are, by supporting us, he would do anything for us, so it’s kind of a way for us to give back to him and his. family.”
Chase Co., a heavy equipment rental company, is based in Sullivan where Stella’s grandparents live. The company wanted to raise awareness and fundraise for SCN8A, so they ordered a huge elevator painted purple. The color represents epilepsy awareness, and it was fitting to name it after the 5 year old.
“The idea behind it was to lift Stella,” Dawson said.
“It just meant the world to us, to have such a small business that has such a big heart for our family. It made a huge difference,” said Craig. “Often your days are filled with doctor’s appointments and therapy, difficult conversations and very difficult life and death choices, almost every day, and often times you feel very lonely and isolated and that someone one contacts you and says do this for you and your family, “it was just huge. Absolutely huge.”
Then, one day, the MLS stadium construction crew stumbled upon Stella’s story.
“I thought it would be great to have her on site for such a prestigious project and try to help the family as much as we could, so we reached out to Chase Co., through United Rentals, we all got together. with the help of ‘MAK’ and City SC and made it happen. “
So, now “Stella” is there, literally building a part of the history of St. Louis.
“Stella is here at work every day and so we are proud to support the awareness we generate,” said Khalia Collier, vice president of community relations for St. Louis CITY SC.
“I’ve had people who are on the current site and they send photos through Facebook and say, ‘We saw Stella today.’ It’s also very heartwarming that it’s now in St. Louis since all of her doctors and specialists are at the Saint-Louis children’s hospital. “
A spokesperson for the football team that will play here shared this message for Stella:
Stella, we are proud of you. We are delighted to support you and look forward to welcoming you to St. Louis CITY SC so you can experience your first game because you are so strong and you are amazing. Keep fighting
And Stella’s family has this message to the world:
“Sometimes when you see kids who can’t speak and some people think they aren’t helping the community, Stella has shown us that unconditional love and I’m happy everyone can see that she’s worth it. worth living on this earth. “Am so grateful,” Craig said.
Stella – the little girl softening hearts, building our future and making Saint Louis proud.
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