A Mile in Their Footsteps invites you to enter the private lives of our families to feel what it’s like to live life in the upside down. When a child is critically ill, injured, or lives with a chronic disease, a family’s world shifts off its axis. Daily life is tenuous and stressful as caregivers and siblings go into survival mode. What does it take to stay afloat?
Delve deeper into the experiences of our families to see the hardships they endure through their own lens. The struggle is real – but so is the real-time, real-life relief we provide.
The White Family of Cumberland County, NJ, faced a serious medical crisis when their third child, Kelsey, was diagnosed in-utero with a nearly fatal condition. After her birth, she faced a long hospital stay and recovery, finally going home after two months. As the family was settling into the routine at home, little Kelsey developed a serious respiratory illness that landed her back in the hospital for 50 days. This latest medical battle created a huge financial burden on the family. The holidays can be especially challenging for families struggling to make ends meet due to the financial strain of their child’s medical needs. See how Fred’s Footsteps alleviated some of the pressure so the Whites could catch their breath and savor the season.
Milana is a 10-year-old Gloucester County, New Jersey girl living with a rare, progressive, genetic disorder called Niemann-Pick Type C. She is ventilator-dependent, and completely reliant on others for all of her care needs. There is no treatment or cure for her horrific disease.
Milana’s parents, Tara and Matt, and her baby brother Vincent, have shifted their lives and careers to dedicate themselves to her love and care. But the price has been steep. Facing many challenges including lengthy hospital stays and commutes with unpaid leave and lost wages, gas, tolls, medical bills, around-the-clock home nursing, an adapted van, specialized wheelchair, hospital bed, and other medical equipment needs, it’s a wonder how the family was ever expected to stay afloat.
Through Fred’s Footsteps and our dedicated home renovation fund, Pat’s Projects, the Marino Family received $10,000 toward the renovation of their home to safely care for Milana. This included building a bedroom and accessible bathroom to ensure the best quality of life for Milana – and her loving family.
Kellen of Newark, Delaware, lives with a rare disease. Characterized by muscle weakness and overall fatigue, nemaline rod congenital myopathy makes daily life a struggle. When his mother, Corrine, left her job to become Kellen’s full-time caretaker, it created a financial strain on their single-parent household. The emotional toll is palpable as Kellen undergoes interventions and treatments for everything from speech and nutrition to mobility and breathing. Watch how Fred’s Footsteps brought some relief to this family in the form of an accessible shower.
Rob and Tonya’s precious baby girl, Robbi Marie, is a blessing and a true miracle. This family made it through 361 days of intensive care in the hospital, but their journey of caring for a medically-complex child in their Pennsauken, NJ, home was just beginning.
The Wallace Family was settling into life in Delaware County, getting ready to welcome their second child. When their daughter was born prematurely, at just 24 weeks gestation, it led to a crisis they could have never seen coming, let alone financially prepare for.
Help change the life of a family caring for a medically-complex child.