SMILE Kids Program
The SMILE Kids Program provides children impacted by a life-threatening condition with assistive and adaptive equipment that is cost prohibitive but will enhance their quality of life and ultimately making life a little easier.
Each SMILE Kid's request is unique to their individual needs. With the help of volunteers and sponsors, SMILE takes care of ordering, purchasing, assembling, delivering, and installing each piece of equipment so that SMILE Kids and their families can focus on creating more SMILEs.
Dylan, Courtney Bed
Dylan was diagnosed with Angelman's Syndrome and other co-occurring conditions. After a difficult struggle with denial after denial from their insurance, Dylan's mom had given up on providing a safe night's sleep for her son. Until she learned about SMILE. She shares Dylan and her's story and thanks in her blog post.
The team from R.D. Lambert and Son General Contractor have supported SMILE from volunteering to sponsoring SMILE events since our founding. This spring a few of members of the R.D. Lambert & Son team took time out of their St. Patrick's Day to deliver and install a Courtney Bed for SMILE Kid Dylan.
Jordan, Z-Vibe Kit
Diagnosed with Trisomy 18, Jordan spent the first 400+ days of his life in the hospital. Jordan received most of his nutrition through a feed tube, while at the hospital and at home. He has never brushed his teeth or eaten baby food, leading to oral sensitivity and adversion. His Occupational Therapist recommended an at home therapy system that would help Jordan get used to many of the new textures he is experiences. With his new Z-Vibe Kit Jordan is experiencing a whole new set of experiences!
Jacob, Jog Stroller
Nothing brings a smile to Jacob's face like the feeling he gets riding in a jog-stroller as it jumps and pops over speed bumps. A massive stroke in-utero has left Jacob blind, with cerebral palsy, seizures, and developmental delays. When he outgrew his therapeutic adaptive stroller his insurance would not replace, but instead provided him with a wheelchair.
Matthew, Stair Lift
Matthew is battling Ewing's Sacroma, a form of childhood cancer that affects the brain. His family lives in a two story home on base and Mathew's bedroom and bathroom are located upstairs. For more than eight month's Matthew's mother and father carried him up and down the stairs. This physically strainned Matthew and his parents. That all changed thanks to our SMILE supporters, who had a stair lift installed in the family's home. Now Matt can ride up and down the stairs whenever it suit him!
Jackson, Hearing Aids
Jeremy, Elevating Wheelchair Seat
Jeremy has overcome numerous obstacles in his life, including tens of surgeries to address complications related to an extremely rare condition, Farber's disease. Jeremy always has a smile on his face and finds creative ways to overcome the day-to-day challenges he faces. When his wheelchair began failing, Jeremy and his medical team tried to keep it together for as long as possible, even after insurance denied his request, and the electrics began short-circuiting. SMILE supporters provided him with a new elevating wheelchair that enables him to manage more of his on healthcare, zip around the street on “strolls” with his family, and do something he loves, raise up high enough to cook dinner on the stove.
Annabelle and her parents have not had a full night's sleep in over a year. Annabelle's hypotonia, a muscle condition that leaves her feeling like a "rag doll" with no muscle strength and respiratory conditions, require her to sleep in an elevated position. Her family tried using pillows, foam blocks, and stuffed animals to prop her up throughout the night with no success. Annabelle is also on a continuous feeding tube, receives oxygen throughout the night, and is monitored by machines.
With so many tubes and cables, Annabelle often became tangled in cables and trapped in the slats of her traditional crib. She used to alert her family to her entanglement, but she has become so used to it that she stopped crying for help during the night. Her healthcare team recommended a therapeutic SleepSafe Bed to keep Annabelle safely positioned upright throughout the evening. Proper positioning will reduce reflux, secondary aspirations, entanglement, bruising, and most importantly provide a safe and full nights sleep for Annabelle and her family.
Because of SMILE's supporters, Annabelle received a therapeutic bed that is fully padded on all sides to reduce injury, a sturdy pole for her monitors, access windows to safely string her tubing through, the ability to elevate and angle her mattress to address breathing issues, and sheet sets that will help her sleep like a princess.
Annabelle, SleepSafe Bed
Earl, 10 years old, Therapeutic Tricycle
While climbing high above in a McDonald’s play place, Earl watched Taunya while she met with the social worker to discuss becoming Earl’s foster mom. At the same time, Earl was looking down; Taunya was gazing up wondering what he was thinking. After Earl was placed with Taunya and her husband Cornell she asked him what he was thinking about the day they first met, and he said, “I was wondering what you were like.” Within three years of being placed and then adopted by Taunya and Cornell, Earl went from climbing playgrounds to barely being able to sit upright on his own.
Earl was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. DMD is a rare genetic mutation of the X-chromosome, which causes weakening of the muscles throughout the body and damage to the heart and respiratory muscles.
A Therapeutic tricycle would help to provide Earl with additional physical therapy outside of his appointments. Benefits of riding the trike include increased respiratory function, maintain strength and endurance in his lower extremities, improve his trunk strength, stimulate bone growth, and alleviate stress while increasing a sense of freedom and independence.
With your help, SMILE was able to deliver a lime green therapeutic tricycle to Earl. While physical therapy sessions were never his favorite he loved riding his tricycle during sessions. The day he received his tricycle both his physical therapist and brother both said it was the happiest they’d ever seen Earl. Now instead of just getting to zip around his physical therapist’s office he can ride up and down his street with his friends and siblings. He will be getting much-needed exercise and strength training, all while riding a “bike” like the other children.
Emma, 11 years old, Wheelchair
Emma, a vibrant 11-year-old, was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer. Side effects from treatment left her tired and weak, limiting her ability to walk. While her insurance provided her with a rental wheelchair, the monthly rental fees quickly became a financial burden for the family. With both Emma, and her mother fighting cancer all Emma asked for was "a wheelchair with the big wheels- so she could push herself." SMILE was able top provide Emma with a wheelchair, foot rests, wheelchair cushions, and a backpack in her favorite color.