Lenexa boy to be honored at historic KC Current home opener

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A 10-year-old Lenexa boy is being honored Saturday by the Kansas City Current for his efforts advocating for equality.

Kaden Griffith will be the first honoree of the Current’s Olivia Bloomfield Legacy Seat, a designation that highlights people who champion inclusivity, during the team’s historic home opener unveiling CPKC Stadium at Kansas City’s Berkley Riverfront Park, the first American arena built exclusively for a women’s sports team.

“Kids in our community deserve better opportunities and support to be successful in life. And I’m just trying my best to give them everything they deserve as humans,” he said, writing on an iPad.

‘I just want to leave our world a better place’

Diagnosed with the condition that causes muscle weakness and can affect a child’s ability to crawl and walk as well as their ability to speak, Griffith uses a wheelchair and communicates using a special stylus and iPad.

Since he started using the iPad, he’s been able to write books and give speeches to local schools on how to be more inclusive.

“I just want to leave our world a better place for all kids in the future so they know and feel their importance.,” he wrote.

Griffith will be honored with Olivia Bloomfield Legacy Seat

The Olivia Bloomfield Legacy Seat at CPKC Stadium is named after another Johnson County native.

Bloomfield was a vocal inclusivity advocate, who was born with congenital muscular dystrophy and got around in a motorized wheelchair.

She was a KC Current fan and advocate for making venues and public places around the Kansas City area more accessible to people with disabilities.

Involved with the charity Variety KC, which Griffith is also active in, Bloomfield helped advocate for and plan inclusive playgrounds around the region.

After Bloomfield’s death in 2022, the Current chose to honor Bloomfield’s legacy by making CPKC Stadium more accessible and featuring champions of equality with a pink “Legacy seat” each home game.

Working with Variety KC before and after Bloomfield’s death, Angie Griffith, Kaden’s mom, said the Current saw the work that Kaden was doing through efforts like his talks at schools, food drives and a clothing closet for those in need.

“(The Current) e-mailed us and said, ‘We would be honored if Kaden would be, the first one we all really want him to be the first honoree of it,'” she said.

Kaden Griffith at his first Kansas City Royals game. Photo via Facebook.

Kaden wants everyone to be seen as people

One of Kaden’s goals is for people in wheelchairs to be treated like everyone else, Angie Griffith said.

He wants to be known as a kid that loves sports, watching TV and listening to music, not someone who is different.

“(Spinal muscular atrophy) took my ability to speak in a traditional sense, which to the world often equates to lacking intelligence or opinions,” he said through his iPad. “I want the world to be aware that being in a wheelchair and being nonverbal does not make someone less human and less deserving of equal human rights. That’s why I love speaking to schools about inclusion.”

The Kansas City Current’s home opener will begin Saturday at noon.

To get involved with Variety KC, visit its official website

About the author

Andrew Gaug
Andrew Gaug

👋 Hi! I’m Andrew Gaug, and I cover Shawnee and Lenexa for the Johnson County Post.

I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and started my career as a business reporter for The Vindicator in Youngstown, Ohio.

I spent 14 years as a multimedia reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press before joining the Post in 2023.