Many of the kids and the families we assist face insurmountable challenges. We can’t claim cures for these kids, but we always strive to make their days and those of their families just a little bit brighter. It may be an iPad for a bedbound boy in palliative care, a weekend respite for a caregiver that hasn’t had a day off in years, or assistance in the purchase of medical devices that provide a safe night’s rest. We have found that even a small difference can deliver amazing results, the best often being a smile. Seriously ill or sadly, terminal children place enormous strains, both emotionally and financially on the caregivers and extended family members. So we always try to tailor our assistance to deliver exactly what is needed most at that particular point in time. Sometimes it’s a payment of utility arrears so the home stays warm and bright, other times we have provided food cards so the family can be food secure in a critical time. It could be a TV for a bedbound child or a walker, an assisted breathing device or a day or two of respite care for an exhausted caregiver. We try to provide the best solution to often impossible circumstances, but the kids are always the focus.
Robert is a 9 year old boy with extensive brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy, intractable seizures, and cortical vision impairment. He is g-tube fed, in diapers, non-verbal and wheelchair dependent. His mother cares for him full time. He has every type of seizure daily however the most aggressive and life threatening are grand mal seizures at night. A sleep study has shown that he has significant sleep apnea which triggers these seizures. He is not a CPAP candidate due to his excessive drooling and vomiting. A device called an Airvo provides the oxygen support he needs and when trialed made a significant difference to his breathing and decrease in seizures. This item is $4,000.00 and the family cannot afford it.
Wild Hogs visited the family with a member of The Heart House Hospice. It was soon decided that we would team up with the HHH and share the cost of the Airvo Unit for Robert which made a significant difference for him and his mother.
CR is a 13 year old boy with a degenerative condition called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and is considered palliative. Anne-Marie, CR’s mother is a single mother with 3 other children as well as CR. She left an abusive relationship and is raising her children on her own. She works afternoons at a minimum wage job while her mother cares for CR. She is struggling financially. CR is completely dependent for all his care. He is nonverbal, wears diapers, is g-tube fed and only leaves the house for medical appointments via trans help. He was born healthy, grew and developed as a typical, healthy child until about the age of 4. At that time, he began having seizures and has slowly declined to his current state. Anne-Marie is a remarkable, devoted caregiver to him however is struggling to manage and is grateful for any assistance that could be provided. Anne-Marie was struggling to keep up with her bills, rent and having enough food for everyone.
After visiting Anne-Marie, we could see that she was obviously overwhelmed with everything, including working and little sleep supervising CR. Anne-Marie was extremely moved that someone from the community was there to help her.
Wild Hogs provided her and her family the next day with a cheque to cover 2 months’ rent as well as $400 of gift certificates for groceries. Wild Hogs also later provided additional food that was donated to us.
Recently the Wild Hogs responded with the delivery of an iPad for Nick, a 19 year old boy with non-verbal Down’s Syndrome who could only communicate through his device. When his iPad stopped working, he had ‘aged out’ of the support system. The family was without the financial means to replace the device so Nick was effectively silenced by the ‘rules’. With your support, the Wild Hogs were able to deliver a new iPad within days to allow this boy to once again have a voice.