Miss Ky. 2010 crowns hospital’s ‘true princess’



By Nicole Schladt

Abby Martin’s party was fit for a princess, complete with princess balloons and princess party favors. But the party wasn’t for just any princess. It was for one a specific “Little Princess.”

Six-year-old Martin was crowned the 2010 Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s “Little Princess” Monday at a party held by Champs Entertainment Complex and her classmates from Veterans Park Elementary School.

Miss Kentucky 2010 Djuan Trent crowned Abby the “Little Princess,” complete with a sparkling tiara and a purple sash.

“I am very excited to have the honor of being involved with her send-off,” Trent said. “It’s been a humbling experience for me.”

Martin, who was diagnosed with a rare birth disorder known as CHARGE syndrome, has been a patient at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital since her birth in 2004. She underwent 25 developmental surgeries at the hospital during the first two years of her life because of complications associated with CHARGE, but she has shown a lot of progress since then.

“She’s walking better and developing friendships at school,” Abby’s father Michael Martin said. “Kentucky Children’s Hospital has given us so much. Through their work and efforts, she’s alive.”

The princess send-off party was in honor of her Nov. 11 departure for Walt Disney World, where she will participate in the national television production of the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration.

“This party is all about celebration,”  Kentucky Children’s Hospital Development Council Vice Chair Jim Richardson said. “So many people don’t realize what an absolute gift the Kentucky Children’s Hospital is, and we have this world-class hospital right here in Central Kentucky.”

Earlier this year, Martin was named Kentucky’s 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Champion. Other “champion children” from around the world have been selected to serve as ambassadors for hospitals associated with the Children’s Miracle Network. All of the ambassadors will gather at Walt Disney World for the annual celebration.

While Martin will finally be able to meet all of the Disney princesses later this month, Trent believes the true princess can be found closer to home in Martin.

“You are such a beautiful girl, Abby,” Trent said. “You are a true princess with the heart of a champion.”