Now fifteen, Kendall Hollinger spent most of her first five years inside her home, as her parents believed that was the only safe environment to protect their child from her life-threatening food allergies. As she grew older and became depressed because she couldn’t participate in many activities with her friends, Kendall turned to ice skating as an escape from her severe allergies. Today, the Long Beach teenager is regarded as a skilled figure skater.
According to theLong Beach Press-Telegram,she first was introduced to ice skating at the age of 5, when invited to a classmate’s party at an ice rink. Kendall reflected on that first experience, saying “I begged my parents to let me go, but they were reluctant because they weren’t sure about the skating rink environment.” Kendall’s doctor assured them that Kendall could be kept safe in the skating rink environment, so they let her go.
Kendall says “The minute my feet hit the ice I loved it. I felt free. The ice became my safe zone.” In the past ten years, she has become a competitive figure skater, and she’s now training for the state championships. “When I’m on the ice, I don’t have to worry about food allergies or anything,” she explained. “It’s just the ice and me.”
When on the rink, you can’t tell that Kendall has been dealing with life-threatening allergies since she was born, or that she receives all her nutrition from a feeding tube in her stomach. According to her mother, Kim, Kendall is severely allergic to up to 95% of all food, making it nearly impossible for her to eat a meal. Her allergies include nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, pork, and most fruits and vegetables. But, her mom says, on the rink that doesn’t matter. “Out there she’s just another kid.”