SACUL, TX (KTRE) - Like a lot of young girls about to turn 13, Kayla Thomas wants to be a princess, like Cinderella.
"Mama come look," shouts Kayla as she opens a box from Dallas containing a specially ordered crown covered in rhinestones. "Daddy, do I look pretty?", inquires Kayla.
Kayla always hunts for approval from her parents, especially her mother, Jennifer Thomas. She has protected her daughter since the day she was born.
"Well, Kayla was born with gastroschisis where the intestines and a bowel is on the outside of her stomach," explained Thomas.
You would never know by Kayla's captivating smile that the child had undergone numerous surgeries, with more to come. Consequently, Kayla developed learning challenges.
The ordeal remains difficult for mom to talk about. Tears well in her eyes and she goes speechless.
Sacul volunteer firefighter Karla Brooks knew a bit of happiness would help everyone. She's making sure Kayla's birthday wish will come true at Saturday's Sacul Folk Festival.
A parade float has been constructed. "Sacul Princess" is outlined in glitter and sparkles in the fall sun. Hundreds of balloons surround the throne from which Kayla practices her parade wave.
Kayla is looking forward to getting an updo and dressing the role of a princess.
"With pretty fingernails, with a beautiful dress, with a crown," described Kayla.
"I believe that Kayla pulls at everybody's heart strings because she has personally been through such adversity since the day she was born," said Brooks. "But as you can see she's always smiling. She has a very special sprit and we all can't help but love her."
"I want to be, for my birthday wish, for a dance in a ball," Kayla articulated the best way she knows how.
Kayla, the princess may not have a ball to go to but she can come to the Sacul Opry House and dance to some great bluegrass. The town is famous for its bluegrass performances and planners are excited for Kayla to be their guest.
This young lady may not know it now, but to many she's a princess forever after.