Sometimes it only takes a handful of steps to get over a mountain.
Just ask Kayden Elijah Kinckle.
The 2-year-old leg and foot amputee with a big smile and can-do spirit walked for the first time in a YouTube video posted by his mother on July 4.
“I got this! I got it! I got it!” the ecstatic toddler exclaimed as he trudged forward with the help of a walker – and his own endurance.
“He moved my hand – he didn’t want me to touch him,” Nikki Kinckle, Kayden’s mother, tells PEOPLE.
“That was the first time he ever did that,” says Kinckle, 24, of Englewood, New Jersey. “He’s very determined. He wants to be able to do it himself. That s what we want him to do.”
Kayden was born with an omphalocele, which caused his internal organs to grow outside his navel. While in the womb, a band wrapped around his legs and feet, causing developmental deformities and the necessity to amputate his right foot and left leg in January.
For Kayden and his mother, who had been advised to terminate her pregnancy, this was just a small speed bump on an incredible road of accomplishment.
“It was overwhelming,” says Kinckle, “especially since I know how far we’ve come. It’s a dream come true. I ve pictured that a million times and to actually see it was amazing.”
Kayden’s triumph-over-tribulation video has had more than 75,000 views in four days and the Kinckle family has already raised $11,200 of its $50,000 GoFundMe page’s goal, and plans to put the funds toward prosthetics and physical therapy, as well as the outstanding medical bills from multiple abdominal surgeries.
And, of course, what every 2-year-old boy needs – a closet full of sneakers.
“He’s worth it,” says Kinckle. “Every little bit. We’re excited, because he has three pair of sneakers now. I took him to the store to buy him a pair of sneakers.”
Kinckle, who works at a women’s health clinic, hopes to write a book about their journey and use Kayden’s story to encourage women in similar situations.
Until then, Kayden and his family will continue celebrating his big accomplishments, one baby step at a time.