Every parent’s worst nightmare is seeing their child sick or injured, and though you’ll inevitably deal with your fair share of bumps, bruises, coughs, and fevers, you hope and pray that you never encounter anything more serious. But, each year, over 3 million children are hospitalized in the United States, and the reasons for those hospitalizations range from something as innocuous as a broken bone to something far more sinister, such as a life-threatening illness. As a parent, when your worst nightmare becomes your reality, all your hope lies in the medical care that your child is given access to. That’s why organizations like Cook Children’s Health Foundation are so critically important to the children and families who rely on them.
For over 100 years, Cook Children’s has worked to improve the health of children in several counties within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex as a not-for-profit organization. The heart of the organization is its Promise, which reads, “Knowing every child’s life is sacred, we promise to improve the well-being of every child in our care and our communities.” To help fulfill this promise, it created the Center for Children’s Health to identify specific issues that affect the health of children in the area they serve. Since the organization is not-for-profit, donor funds support more than 100 areas across Cook Children’s Health Care System.
Here’s what Cook Children’s is able to do with the donations it receives: ensure that its patients can receive the latest breakthroughs in medicine and technology; help support research and deliver advanced diagnosis and care for children; support families that cannot afford to pay; strengthen and create healthy communities through its neighborhood clinics, school health programs, prevention of child maltreatment, and its Center for Children’s Health. All of these initiatives help fulfill the organization’s Promise and work towards its goal of making North Texas one of the healthiest places to raise a child.
As a company based in North Texas, Kyte Baby is part of the community that Cook Children’s serves, and that’s why we’re especially honored to choose Cook Children’s Health Foundation as our January charity. If you’ve been following along on social media, you might recall the beautiful trees we created for our backdrop in this live, using Kyte Baby footies in preemie and 0-3 month sizes. After filming, we carefully removed the footies, folded them, and took all of them, along with hats and bodysuits, to Cook Children’s. In total, we donated 358 pieces of clothing to Cook Children’s NICU and $5,000 to the foundation, where the money will go toward purchasing nebulizers, food, or anything families of their patients need.
Being able to give back to Cook Children’s has an even deeper and more special meaning for Kyte Baby’s very own marketing manager, Willow. Willow’s first born child, Jolene, is a happy and healthy 9-year old girl today. Looking at her, you would never guess that she was born with hydrocephalus, a birth defect that left her body unable to drain the spinal fluid produced by her brain. Hydrocephalus causes swelling in the skull, seizures, vision problems, brain damage, headaches, and, if left untreated, can be fatal. When Jolene was born, Willow was just 21 years old with a husband working part-time. Learning to navigate life with a newborn is hard enough for anyone, but instead of the usual adjustment to a new normal, Willow was facing the terrifying uncertainty surrounding her baby’s devastating diagnosis and an unstable financial situation.
At only 4 days old, little Jolene underwent brain surgery and was admitted to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas for one week. There, Willow, her husband, and Jolene were given exceptional care, receiving meal vouchers and financial aid through the hospital’s charity. Because early intervention and treatment were possible, Jolene is now thriving. She’s a straight-A student in the gifted and talented program at her school, and a beautiful, active child who is able to live her life to the fullest, to the relief and joy of her mother. 9 years after her own child’s stay at Cook Children’s, Willow herself hand-delivered the clothes and the $5,000 check to the medical center earlier this month, bringing her experience to a point she describes as a “full-circle moment.”
For those of you who feel a connection to the incredible work of Cook Children’s and want to support the foundation, you can head over to their giving page to make a donation or find ways to get involved.