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'She just really went above and beyond': Family thanks local artist for customized corrective helmet

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jan 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 00:58:33-05

GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Nancy Walker is a die-hard Chiefs fan. The fandom started with her dad and now runs in her family four generations strong.

Through all the team’s wins and losses, Walker always stuck by her Chiefs. So it only made sense to turn to The Kingdom when life threw her family a curveball.

Walker’s two grandsons, Jett and Hayden, were born seven weeks premature. They were diagnosed with flat spots and torticollis, a condition that causes their neck muscles to tighten.

“Because of that, in the future, helmets won't fit correctly. Sunglasses, anything that deals with their head, things won't fit properly,” said Megan Nash, Jett and Hayden’s mom.

Wearing corrective helmets early on can help correct the diagnosis as they grow. Jett is now able to take his off, but Hayden must still wear his.

With her love for anything Chiefs, Walker reached out to Cynthia Burris, a local artist and Chiefs fan, who agreed to make Hayden a customized piece.

”It was challenging, but it was rewarding," Burris said. "It was something that I knew was really special to them, and it was special to me, too, because it kind of brought me out of my painting shell."

Burris sees the project as a symbol of positivity during an otherwise difficult time.

“When they are out in public, I think sometimes people look and are like, ‘Oh, what’s going on there?’" Walker said. "But just with it customized, it kind of just takes that away. And people are like, ‘Oh wow, that’s cute!’ And they don’t look at it as a negative. I mean she just really went above and beyond."