Did you know that kids, and even infants, have strokes?
A few weeks ago, my friend (and VCFA peep) Lauren, contacted me about a project she was developing. May is pediatric stroke awareness month and she needed a logo to help raise awareness. I jumped on board right away, because I, like many, had no idea this type of thing happened.
Of course, Lauren, had to learn about this the hard way. Seven months ago, she had her second child. She was overjoyed to welcome her new baby Blake into the world. But shortly after he was born, her elation quickly turned to fear when Blake was hospitalized in the intensive care unit. At only ten days old, Blake was diagnosed with having a type of stroke that occurs when a blood clot develops in a vein near the brain. She was shocked and scared. Who knew that kids had strokes?
Thankfully, Blake is on his way to recovery! With lots of therapy and love, he’s been making incredible strides. But Lauren isn’t stopping with her own son. She wants to help other parents as well.
Since her own son’s diagnosis, Lauren’s learned that pediatric stroke is one of the top ten causes of death in children, yet it is frequently misdiagnosed. The area is underfunded, under-researched, and there is little in the way of support for the survivors and their families. Her goal is to change this.
The effects of stroke are widespread. Strokes often cause a weakening or paralysis of one side of the body and can create challenges with everything from walking to talking to playing. The best way to rehabilitate a child after a stroke is to have him or her undergo therapy – lots and lots of it. Many children require a combination of physical, occupational and speech therapies to ensure they are optimizing their chances for a successful recovery. As you can imagine, the cost of such aggressive therapy is significant. While insurance and early intervention programs may cover some of the services these children need, it is often not nearly enough.
What happens to the young stroke survivors who do not have good insurance coverage? What happens if these children are too old for a state’s early intervention program?
Lauren has formed The KISS Initiative (Kid and Infant Stroke Support) to help these children.
The KISS Initiative is a fund with the Miami Children’s Health Foundation, and its focus is to assist pediatric stroke survivors at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, formerly Miami Children’s Hospital, with the significant costs of therapeutic intervention. The end goal is to ensure that every child who requires aggressive rehabilitation following a stroke receives the services he or she needs and does not have to forgo therapy critical to his recovery due to finances. This may be something as simple as providing a child with an extra physical therapy session each week, or something more intensive and expensive, such as financing Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) which costs approximately $9,000 per child.
Children recovering from strokes should be able to receive the therapy they require, no matter the cost. Lauren and her associates are therefore asking for your help in supporting The KISS Initiative.
The logo I designed for this cause was inspired by the tag line Lauren created for her son: Live boldly. Fight bravely. Shine brightly. The logo has been printed on t-shirts to help raise awareness for pediatric stroke, and 100% of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales will go to The KISS Initiative to benefit these young survivors. Please click on the following link and help support this worthy cause!
Order your KISS Initiative t-shirt here: www.booster.com/theKISSinitiative
If you would rather make a donation directly to the fund, you can do that on through the fundraising page here:
Make a donation: Miami Children’s Health Foundation
Lauren knows first hand that a little kiss will go a long way to help these tremendously brave children reach their fullest potential. She’s watched her sweet baby boy flourish under the brilliant hands of his therapists. His accomplishments amaze her every day.
“Like” the KISS Initiative’s Facebook page and stay up-to-date on the awesome things they’re doing: The KISS Initiative Facebook Page
Thank you so much for your love, your generosity and your kisses.
Tags: The KISS Initiative