This is an update to a Nov. 18, 2015, blog about the Kroll family. Visit that post for additional photos and details about Jen Kroll’s viral Facebook message.
Like many girls her age, six-year-old Jerrensia Caroline Kroll loves Disney princesses.
Elsa, the noble heroine of the animated film “Frozen,” ranks high on her list of favorites. That’s part of why Jerrensia’s mom, Jen Kroll, was so excited to see Target’s inclusive Halloween circular last fall. The ad featured a little girl with braces and arm crutches, dressed in Elsa’s iridescent blue gown.
Jerrensia, who has prosthetic legs and uses arm crutches, enthusiastically responded to what Jen calls Target’s “priceless normalization” of children with disabilities.
A Facebook post that Jen wrote in praise of the store’s photo went viral and helped to spark a global online conversation about the importance of “demystifying” disability, particularly in children.
“It’s been an incredible journey,” Jen said.
Born in Haiti, Jerrensia arrived in the United States in 2011 on a medical visa due to significant joint issues and other physical complications that severely hampered her mobility.
Since arriving in West Michigan, Jerrensia has made tremendous strides in her physical rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed, where she also receives orthotic and prosthetic support.
A 10-day holiday vacation to Florida in December gave the Krolls an opportunity to celebrate another significant milestone for the family: the finalization of Jerrensia’s adoption.
Joined by her parents and two older brothers, Jerrensia particularly enjoyed the visit to Disney World, where she was able to meet her favorite princesses. Jen said park employees went above and beyond to ensure Jerrensia had the experience of a lifetime.
“Everyone was so kind to her,” Jen said. “She was treated like royalty.”
Photos courtesy of Jen Kroll Photography