On August 25th, the 6th Annual Little Chef, Big Chef competition – presented by Whole Foods Market – will take place at The Ordinary. With just a few days left until the big day, we want to take some time to talk a little about one of the four all-star kids from the Louie’s Kids program that will be participating at this year’s event. A remarkable young lady named Jaylynn.

The path to health is not an easy one. But when you have someone there walking it with you, the steps become a little more manageable. The journey becomes a little less daunting. It’s for that reason that we here at Louie’s Kids are so committed to working with families as a whole – not just the children – and why we are so proud of Jaylynn and her family. They have all rallied together in their resolve to living a healthier life, and the commitment they’ve shown is something we won’t soon forget.

At only 12 years old, Jaylynn has been through a lot. As with so many other children, the gravity of her situation didn’t really hit home until she was faced with some devastating medical news. Jaylynn was diagnosed with diabetes. Rather than retreating from such difficult news as so many do, Jaylynn made the admirable and courageous decision to do something about it. And her family was right there with her to make sure she had the support she needed. Leading the charge was Jaylynn’s stepmother, Tabitha. After her first meeting with the Louie’s Kids team, it was clear that Tabitha was just as committed as her daughter. The issue was knowing where to start. Together with Louie’s Kids, the family set some immediate and achievable goals for Jaylynn to get her more active, and she met them with the determination and resolve we’ve come to know and love.

Of all the activities Jaylynn has taken on since joining the program, it’s basketball that has grown into a passion. Little did she know that hiding within her was an athlete waiting to come out! And her family has been nothing short of supportive of her new active lifestyle, enrolling her in camps and getting her over to the court whenever possible. But they don’t just stop there! Since the grocery store tour, a Louie’s Kids program they took part in earlier this year, Jaylynn and her family are now looking at the ingredients and the nutrition facts on all foods they purchase and are picking out leaner meat with less fat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthier snacks. They’ve also adopted a monthly “weigh in and log in” competition for their household to keep everyone motivated. Jaylynn has even been known to join Tabitha at her dance classes – a great way to get some exercise in! It is that level of family commitment that has made all the difference in Jaylynn’s journey.

As with our other Little Chefs, Jaylynn was selected to participate in Camp Shane this summer. Just as they’ve done every step of the way, her family was the first to offer their support, going so far as to drive a group of campers all the way to Georgia. While it was challenging for Jaylynn to leave her family for the first time she tackled the challenge head on, just like we knew she would. And we’re proud to share with everyone that, while at Camp Shane, Jaylynn was able to lose nearly 10lbs!

With your continued support we are able to help kids just like Jaylynn get the support they need to live a happier and healthier life. If you want to help us celebrate Jaylynn, join us for this year’s Little Chef, Big Chef event, presented by Whole Foods Market with additional sponsor Southwest Airlines, on August 25th at The Ordinary. You can learn more about the event here.