2015 SMILE Kids and Programs
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.
Isaac, 10 months old, Protective Helmet
Isaac was diagnosed with Occipital Encephalocele (a fatal neural tube disorder) at five months in utero. His family was told that Isaac would not live longer than a month, if he survived his birth. Isaac had three surgeries within the first 10 days of life. One of the surgeries was the placement of a shunt. Isaac’s skull is not fully closed in the back due to neural tube disorder which left his brain exposed. At four months of age Isaac starting having seizures which were controlled by medicine however at 8 months he began having increased issues with the seizures. As Isaac is becoming more active a different set of new concerns arise for protecting his head. With your continued support, SMILE was able to provided Isaac with a Soft Protective Helmet. The helmet enables Isaac the freedom and mobility every parent wants for their 17 month old child.
Emersyn, 7 years old, Therapeutic Tricycle
Emersyn’s (Emmy), life changed drastically at the age of seven when as the sudden brain lesions caused by acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) robbed her of her mobility. A once vibrant young girl who loved biking and swimming, Emmy lost her ability to walk, talk, and have control over her arms. SMILE provided Emmy with a Raspberry Rifton R310 Tricycle, which is helping her to improve her hand-eye coordination, increase her strength, stability, and respiratory function. Her new trike has empowered her to experience and explore her environment in a safe manner and brought a smile back to her face as she gets some much needed physical therapy through one of her favorite activities, biking.
Parker, 11 years old, Diabetic Alert Dog
Parker was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 6 years old (2010) during a doctor's visit for what his family thought was a stomach bug. After the initial shock wore off, the family now had to learn to manage Parker's lifelong struggle with Type 1 Diabetes. Parker is a very active young man; he plays soccer (Chesapeake United Travel Team), the cello, and is an outstanding student, but his diabetes often kept him sidelined from the activities he loves.
In 2014, the family started raising funds for a diabetic alert dog. They were $10,000 shy of their goal of $25,000. SMILE was able to help Parker’s family meet their goal. In early 2015, Parker met his new best friend Patriot. Patriot is a diabetic alert dog capable of sensing when Parker’s blood sugar levels are too high or too low and is trained to alert him and his family.
Brianna, 10 years old, Wheelchair Lift
Brianna, a vibrant 10-year old girl, living with Scleroderma, a chronic connective tissue disease, which causes tightening and hardening of the tissues, organs, and blood vessels. As her condition has worsened, her mobility has drastically decreased. Although she had previously received a motorized wheelchair to assist in mobility, she was homebound and unable to participate in the things she loved. Her family did not have the ability to transport her wheelchair. Recently, SMILE was able to provide her freedom and mobility by having a brand-new wheelchair lift and hitch installed on the family vehicle. Now Brianna can leave home and enjoy the adventures life outside has to offer.