Mother of the Year Finalist: Rebekah Schreckenghaust

Mom: Rebekah Schreckenghaust, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Nominated by: Ryan Schreckenghaust, husband

Selfless. That’s really the only word that describes Rebekah.rebekah-kids

Trained as a school counselor, Rebekah’s career is on hold to meet needs closer to home… our home.

Mom to Jackson (8) and Camden (5), Rebekah leverages her professional training to meet the needs of children as a catalyst to be the type of mom that every kid hopes to have!

Jackson came along just 10 months after Rebekah’s mom lost her battle with breast cancer. The joy of welcoming our first child and beginning our family was tempered by the hole left with her mom’s passing. Jackson was an easy baby. He hit every milestone, was cute, well-mannered, in short he was the kind of kid who made you want to have another one!

And so we did. We were ecstatic when we learned Rebekah was pregnant with baby #2. We approached the 20-week ultrasound with the same excitement that many others do, anxious to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. The joy of adding another boy to our family was matched with the concern of irregularities in the ultrasound. We were referred to another doctor and, eventually came to understand that our new baby boy would be work with some form of esophageal atresia.

Camden was born on Sunday morning, August 16, 2009. Shortly after birth he was removed from Rebekah’s arms and transferred from our local hospital to Children’s Mercy where he was diagnosed with type C esophageal atresia with a tracheoesopageal fistula. At 4 days old, weighing in just over 4 pounds, Camden underwent his first surgery.

The first of approximately 75 surgeries.

Imagine our joy when Camden finally came home from the hospital after 10 months at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Our joy mixed with apprehension as Camden came home with a tracheostomy, on a ventilator and requiring 24-hour nursing support.

Camden’s journey led our family to Boston where Camden & Rebekah stayed for 2 separate 6-month stints while Camden completed treatment. Time away from home meant that Rebekah missed activities at school, meetings with teachers and evenings helping Jackson with homework, attending practices and more.

But it wasn’t about Rebekah, it’s never about Rebekah. She’s always doing what’s best for others.

Today, Rebekah cares for Camden daily serving the role of nurse, occupational/speech/physical therapist, chef, advocate & educator. Days are jam-packed, consisting of appointments with doctors, conversations with the school, phone calls with medical professionals and preparing Camden’s special blenderized diet.

Though it’s a far cry from days spent counseling students in an elementary school, Rebekah is still working for others. All day, every day, Rebekah is meeting the needs of the others.

Caring for others? Yes.

Loving her children? Yes.

A role model? Yes.

Hero? Most definitely.

Voting for the KCMB Mother of the Year award begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2 and closes at 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. The mom with the most votes will be awarded our Mother of the Year prize package. Congratulations to all our finalists.