From the moment he was born, his mother knew something was wrong. After 2 years of countless tests and being poked with sharp needles, doctors finally diagnosed him with Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a rare and chronic disease of the esophagus for which there is currently no cure.
Can you imagine a life without being able to eat food?
Unfortunately, that is the only life KE knows. Because of this disease, KE is allergic to almost all types of food. This means he is required to wear a backpack every single day, which holds a feeding tube that is attached to his stomach. Along with this, every morning KE spends half an hour taking a special formula and seven different types of medications.
At just 16 years old, KE has undergone more than 35 surgeries. And although he is brave, being in the hospital can be incredibly scary, emotionally draining, and extremely uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, many hospitals don’t have the funds for tools and programs focused on alleviating the fear and anxiety that so often accompanies a pediatric patient’s hospital visit.
Through our programs and direct support of hospitals across the country, sick children like KE can receive critical therapies and resources that provide distraction, as well as alleviate pain, fear, and stress during their stay.
KE’s mom recalls a particular visit from an enCourage Kids entertainer who sang to him at his bedside in his hospital room while recovering from a procedure.
“It was one of the few things giving KE comfort while he was there and he felt incredibly special knowing she came to sing just for him.”
Imagine the joy a musician or clown visit brings after being bedridden for hours on end or the comfort a facility dog can provide before a frightening procedure.
Picture being a parent and rushing your child to the ER. You don’t have time to bring any essentials or a single toy for your child, only to be welcomed with a Hospital Admission and Comfort Kit.
Envision the relief a child feels wearing virtual reality goggles and being able to focus on a peaceful video instead of a dreary hospital room.
Your generosity makes it possible to provide programs that allow sick kids like KE to experience joy, hope, resilience, and healing.