PITTSBURG — A festival filled with laughter and fun will celebrate the life of 14-month-old Delylah Adele Harris.
Lylahpalooza will be on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Prichett Pavilion on West Second Street.
Entry fees are $5 per child with no charge for adults.
There will be a bouncy house, face painting, balloon animals, a petting zoo, bake sale, kids Jazzercise demonstration, lemonade stand, rock painting and children’s games.
There will also be a large silent auction which people can donate to until 12:30 p.m. the day of the event.
“Every little bit helps,” Lylah’s mother Leslie Harris said.
She said gift certificates and gift baskets are popular choices. There will also be Lylahpalooza T-shirts for sale at the event.
Delylah was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot with a missing pulmonary valve caused by DiGeorge Syndrome.
Her illness caused her to spend the majority of her time at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, where she endured two open heart surgeries, a g-tube, tracheostomy and ventilator support.
This uphill battle was not only taxing on the Harris’ daughter and their family, but their finances as well.
Harris said some parents have to give up their career to care for their child, like she had to, which could cause financial issues going from two incomes to one.
Lylah couldn’t go to daycare, a cold could be life threatening, she said.
Harris said Lylahpalooza is a way her family can give back to the community who supported them.
“Every year around her birthday we do this to remember her and pay it forward to the community that helped us when we were in that situation,” she said.
Proceeds from Lylahpalooza will help three families who have an ill child and are in need of financial support.
“The whole idea is bad enough that your kid is going through life with these issues,” she said. “They shouldn’t have to worry about finances — I wish there was more to give.”
One of the children is preemie on a ventilator at Children’s Mercy also name Lyla, a little boy awaiting a kidney transplant and another boy who has an incurable brain tumor.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.