VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The time has come to announce the finalists for our Remarkable Women Contest . 10 On Your Side received so many incredible nominations during the month of December. This initiative recognizes the great contributions women have made to our nation and local communities.
A panel of judges narrowed the nominations down to four local finalists. Remember, one of these lucky ladies will win a trip to New York City in March.
Finalist #1 – Kindra Dougherty
10 On Your Side caught up with finalist Kindra Dougherty on a quick trip to Community Direct Services in Virginia Beach. But for her family even the most brief outing takes a lot of work. Kindra is a full-time nanny to her two grandchildren and she is a full-time caretaker for her son Gage who has special needs.
“It’s amazing,” said Kindra. “I feel very honored. I had no idea I was nominated. So when I got the call I was very surprised.”
“She puts everybody before her and I think that’s the epitome of remarkable”, said her husband Jason Dougherty, the Assistant Fire Chief at Naval Station Norfolk. Jason nominated Kindra for this opportunity to shine for all she is and all she does without hesitation. “It’s almost to a fault sometimes that she puts everybody else before herself.”
Kindra moved to Virginia years ago in search of better medical care for Gage, who is blind and has Septo-optic Dysplasia, Cerebral Palsy, hypoglycemia, seizure disorder, diabetes insipidus, and dumping syndrome. She isn’t just his mother. Kindra is Gage’s sponsor. That means that she has gone through training to be his caretaker around-the-clock so that he can live with her as an adult. Doctors didn’t expect Gage to live past the age of four.
“He’s now 23,” said Kindra. “It’s been a wild ride. We weren’t sure if he was going to make it. We’ve almost lost him a couple times and I sat by his bedside and I asked God that if he would leave him with me I would make sure that his life meant something.”
Kindra has been on a mission to make the most of that time, not just for her family but others who need help navigating this terrain too. Kindra takes every opportunity to share their story. Gage has become quite popular across the country as Kindra’s taken her mission on the road with Ainsley’s Angels, a nonprofit running group with volunteers who lend their legs to push special needs children in their race chariots toward success.
“I’m willing to fight to the end,” said Kindra.
She said Community Direct Services has been like a second family. “I come in here and everybody knows Gage.”
His life has purpose and although even the simple things are a little more complicated for the Dougherty crew, this Remarkable Woman’s got it under control.
“Everybody’s life is one way,” said Kindra. “It’s not harder or easier. And you can make the best out of it or you can wallow. And I chose to make the best out of it.”
This was just our first stop! We have three more Remarkable Women to introduce to you. You’ll meet our next nominee in a week.