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A note from the webmaster:


I was initially asked to feature Joshua, but when I went to the Curkendall website and saw all three of these children and read their stories, I felt we should feature them all. When most couples realize they will not be able to have children of their own, they seek to adopt children of their own color and healthy to boot. It takes a very special couple to open their home to sick children and love and care for them as their own. Having one child with constant illnesses and needs is tough, but to have three?! I personally think that Peter and Renee Curkendall are incredible people and parents. ~Suzanne








September 2002


       August      Joshua/Trayvon/Annette     November


The Curkendall Kid's Storys


Joshua - Trayvon - Annette


as told by their Mom Renee


We met Annette "Nettie"(12) when I became her special education preschool teacher in a Bronx preschool for HIV+ children. She was residing in a group home and we took her in as a foster child and then completed the adoption on July 23, 1996. She is a loving, beautiful child who fully accepts herself for who she is. She was born with AIDS and has another immune deficiency called IGg subclass deficiency. She has developmental delays, physical difficulties, and uses a g-tube. Annette requires monthly infusions of IVIG also to help her failing immune system. Annette's interests are hip hop music and writing in her journals.


Joshua (6) was our surprise baby because we had been told that having children was very unlikely for me. On my ultrasounds prior to his birth, it was discovered that Joshua had an enlarged kidney. Following his birth he had a follow-up scan that revealed that the ureter that led from the kidney to the bladder was obstructed. At 3 months old he underwent a 7 hour operation to correct the problem. Joshua had many ear infections as a baby (22 before he was 24 months old). And we were just beginning discussions with doctors on how to help him with these multiple infections, when he was diagnosed at 30 month old with a highly malignant brain tumor called an ependymoblastoma. He had a 15 hour surgery to try and remove most of it. He spent 3 weeks in the ICU and had to re-learn how to do all of his gross motor skills all over again.! He then did 5 rounds of very intensive chemo therapy followed by a stem cell transplant. However, unfortunately he had some tumor remaining prior to the transplant so following his transplant he then had to have 6 weeks of radiation. We thank God every day that Joshua is still cancer free more than 4 years after diagnosis. However, the treatment took a big toll on his little body. He has severe hearing loss from the chemo and wears 2 hearing aids and uses a sign language interpreter in school. He still needs OT, PT and Speech therapies at this time. Joshua also has seizures as a result of the surgery and takes 3 different medications to control them. However, the biggest side effect has been his poor immune system. For the past 4 years, following his stem cell transplant, Joshua has suffered almost continuously from one infection after another, but he has beaten all of the statistics given for his tumor.


Trayvon "Tray" (3) is our adopted 3 year old son. He was born with Ivemark Syndrome. Ivemark syndrome consists of severe congenital heart defects, malrotation of his intestines, hypospadius, and several other minor disorders. He has undergone multiple surgeries to correct his various conditions. Tray has severe cardiac problems and had to have an unexpected open heart surgery on April 25th 2002. Though we were very disappointed in the fact that he needed the surgery, we knew it was the best thing for him. The photo to the left is Tray immediately after surgery, though he looks bad, he is really doing great and the doctors were very pleased with his progress during surgery. Tray was out of the hospital and on the playground in 10 days!! Tray's interests are motorcycles, barney, and books (the board book kind so he can't rip them!



Despite their needs and problems, NONE of our children see themselves as different. Nor are they allowed to use their medical issues as an excuse for not living life to the fullest!!

Mom keeps a journal on the Curkendall kids here


...clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:13






"Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me." Matthew 18:5


**Update---Marriela joined the Curkendalls on 11/04

and Cody was born 9/05





September 2002 Feature



Name: Joshua, Trayvon and Annette Curkendall          

Birthday: *Joshua--September 21 *Trayvon--November 29  * Annette--March 29 


*Joshua - Ependymoblastoma
*Trayvon - Ivemark Syndrome
*Annette - AIDS, IGg subclass deficiency


* Trayvon-Motorcycles/Books

*Annette- Journaling/Hip Hop Music

Updates on: Annette, Trayvon and Joshua


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