A heart-warming video of a Dad dancing with his special needs daughter becomes a YouTube sensation after amassing over four million views in less than a week.
Mike Carey of Dallas, Georgia proudly performed the dance with her 12-year old daughter McKenzie to the tune of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" during a beauty pageant. McKenzie was bound in a wheel chair and can't move or speak due to a life-threatening genetic disorder called mitochondrial disease.
According to the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, mitochondrial disease is an energy production problem. Almost all cells in the body that have mitochondria or tiny "power plants" that produce the essential energy has a gradation of effects like a "brown out" or a "black out."
Depending on the cells of the body affected, people who have mitochondrial disease can have poor growth, loss of muscle coordination or muscle weakness, visual or hearing problems, developmental delays and learning disabilities, mental retardation, heart, liver or kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders, severe constipation, respiratory disorders, diabetes, increased risk of infection, neurological problems, seizures, thyroid dysfunction and dementia.
In the case of McKenzie, she had the disease since birth, she can't speak but she can understand the happenings around her. According to an article at ABC News, McKenzie's mother, Tammy Carey, started putting their daughter into pageants at age 5 for her to bond with her daughter and to help their daughter meet new friends.
"We're trying to figure out ways to help our daughter and help her enjoy life, and pageants give her an opportunity to be like other children," said Tammy Carey. The father and daughter tandem had already won about 20 pageants.
The latest pageant performance was put on video and posted online to raise awareness about the disease and at the same time raise funds for Mckenzie's medical treatments.
The family's goal had not been in vain. The Web site Hope for McKenzie had already raised over $91,000 donations so far.
The duo is set to conquer next the national pageant in Nebraska. Tammy Carey is already working on McKenzie's outfit and Mike Carey is already practicing the dance choreography.
"If I get one person [inspired], it made the whole song and whole thing worthwhile.It's like an unspoken message. This dance is like an unspoken testimony and shows bond and love between a father and daughter," said Mike Carey.
People who had watched the viral YouTube video were also touched. One YouTube user Uber Megustador stated: "She smiled at one point..and that's when my tears rushed my eyes!"
To donate at the Hope for McKenzie Web site, please click here.
Watch the viral video of Dad Mikey Carey dancing with his special needs daughter McKenzie on YouTube.