Riverside teen honored as Hero of the Month

Together with Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, children’s charity Kids Wish Network is excited to honor Riverside teen Karrena Cantu as a 2014 Hero of the Month. Karrena was nominated for the award for her bravery during a lengthy and complicated stay at the California facility.

“Being named a Hero has boosted my self-confidence,” writes 13-year-old Karrena. “I know I am able to handle anything tossed my way.”

“The look on Karrena’s face was priceless when she opened her Hero package,” writes the Cantu family. “She understands how seriously ill she was and is very confident that she can overcome all challenges now.”

Kids Wish Network’s Hero of the Month program recognizes children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have faced and overcome difficult circumstances, often enduring a great deal of pain and suffering. While they may not suffer from a life-threatening illness, these Heroes have dealt with life-altering situations, demonstrating extreme bravery and courage.

Karrena’s medical struggle began with a liver transplant when she was just 4 years old, and she has been in and out of hospitals ever since.

“Throughout each hospitalization, Karrena has always been positive, engaging, interactive, smiling, inquisitive of the doctors, and always takes suggestions on how to cope and create a happier space,” adds her nominating Child Life Specialist Misti Lindquist.

“My family has watched Karrena endure so much pain, however, through it all her spirits were very high and she always had a smile on her face,” recalls her mother Rena Cantu. “We would like to thank your organization for recognizing her courage.”

Karrena is still battling bouts of medications and procedures but is feeling better after her most recent issue.

Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center is one of hundreds of facilities across the United States that works with Kids Wish Network to honor brave kids. Each facility is able to nominate up to five Heroes per month, and each Hero is recognized with a Kids Wish Network certificate, t-shirt, and gift card. Kids Wish Network honored over 700 Heroes nationwide in 2012/13.

Kids Wish Network is a nationwide charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experience life-altering situations. More than just granting wishes, Kids Wish Network makes a difference through its various programs by delivering hope to kids across the United States. Come experience the Kids Wish Network difference at www.kidswishnetwork.org.