Jaelin was a healthy teenager getting ready to graduate high school when she suddenly and quite unexpectedly became sick. Her illness resulted in a liver transplant and ultimate bilateral trans-tibial amputations as a result of sepsis.
Vivian was born at just 29 weeks gestation and was hospitalized for the first 18 months of her life due to an undiagnosed, extremely rare chromosomal abnormality and resulting medical complications. Her parents had her transferred from their Indiana hospital to CHOP when treatment options ran out, and they were struggling while adjusting to a new city, new jobs, and new treatment for Vivian.
Max was born at just 24 weeks gestation and was in the NICU at CHOP for over 200 days due to medical complications from his prematurity. His parents took as much time off of work as they could to be by his side, but they were quickly falling behind on mortgage and utility payments.
Kyle was hit by a drunk driver in June 2015 while skateboarding to a friend’s birthday party. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, multiple bone fractures, and doctors feared for his survival. His mother was a single parent, taking care of five boys at the time of the accident, and was forced to stop working.
Miles and his brother, George, were born at just 31 weeks gestation. George was healthy at birth, but Miles had multiple complications related to his premature birth and Skeletal Dysplasia, including chronic respiratory failure. Miles needed a tracheostomy and feeding tube for support.
Hayden was diagnosed with retinoblastoma when she was four years old after having symptoms of eye drift and eye pain. She had her right eye removed immediately after diagnosis and began chemotherapy shortly thereafter. Before Hayden's illness, both of her parents were very stably employed.
Our mission is to help working families stay on their feet through the most trying times of their lives. When a child is sick or is facing a difficult medical condition, a parent's world stops, yet life goes on around them. They may miss work for doctor's appointments, exhaust their FMLA time, or go through most of their savings just to be there for their children, both sick and well.
Fred's Footsteps helps these families by providing direct financial assistance for non-medical expenses tailored to the family's unique needs. We cover a wide variety of expenses from household bills to one-time extraordinary expenses like medical equipment or home modifications. All so that a child's care can be a parent's only worry.
We know that there are no quick fixes, and many families need continued support, not just momentary help, as they go through the ups and downs of their child's illness. That's why we are the only program in the region to offer a life-changing bridge - spanning the course of up to one year with a monetary value of up to $10,000 - to families during their time of need.
Beyond the financial, Fred's Footsteps also acts as an advocate for our families, supporting their journey and linking them to other organizations and families in similar situations that may be able to provide further assistance. All of this is following in the footsteps of the late G. Fred DiBona, Jr. and his legacy of championing children in the healthcare industry.
when they need
for the road