Meet Kendyl Moon, our Honorary Harlem Globetrotter

Nothing can keep Kendyl Moon, 5, of Savannah from double dribbling to her dreams, not even a stroke. On Jan. 16, the Harlem Globetrotters paid her a surprise visit at our Peachtree Dunwoody House to celebrate her progress.

“She loves the Globetrotters and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” says Marcia, Kendyl’s mom, “It makes me so happy to see her dribbling again.”

One of Kendyl’s nurses, Laura Commodore recalls Marcia showing her a video of Kendyl double dribbling and worrying that she might not be able to handle the basketball as swiftly as she did before her stroke.

An avid basketball fan, Kendyl discovered the Harlem Globetrotters online and was quick to master their techniques. In spite of the stroke, Kendyl’s love of basketball holds fast. Learning to dribble with her left hand kept her in the game. Kendyl’s dream is to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. Hearing that, Laura referred Kendyl, to Dream on 3, a nonprofit organization that brings sports dreams to life for children with chronic illnesses. On Jan. 19, Kendyl and her mom headed to the Globetrotters game in Atlanta as guests of honor.

Kendyl Moon

Harlem Globetrotters, Champ (left) and Jet, work with Kendyl, 5, (center) on spinning a basketball on her finger.

Kendyl got to show the Globetrotters, Champ and Jet, her moves and even taught them a few new ones too. They dribbled together throughout the House and tree house all afternoon. The Players suited her up with sweatbands, a jersey, and gave her a kid-sized Globetrotters ball.

Kendyl’s medical journey began at birth as she was born premature and stayed in the NICU until she fully developed. A year later, a cardiologist discovered a heart murmur. Her doctors decided to see if it would close by the time she turned 4. If not, then they would recommend surgery. The surgery was successful.

A day after the surgery, Kendyl was progressing and interacting with her mom and nurses. However, on the second day, Kendyl regressed and suffered a stroke on her left side.

As a result, Kendyl experienced paralysis on her right side. Her family stayed at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston until Kendyl was strong enough to be transferred to Scottish Rite’s inpatient comprehensive rehabilitation program there. Kendyl and her mom stayed at the Peachtree Dunwoody House during the seven-week program.

After graduating from day rehab, Kendyl was recommended for Scottish Rite’s robotics program. Now, Kendyl and her mom commute from Savannah every Thursday through Sunday for the program at Scottish Rite.

“Both Houses are wonderful,” says Marcia who feels blessed to stay at the Peachtree Dunwoody House each weekend.

Kendyl will graduate from the robotics program this March. Afterwards, she will continue with physical and occupational therapy in Savannah.