Happy birthday Saige!
On Maryland's Eastern Shore, Saige celebrated her birthday and is Casey Cares' 955th birthday this year!
Casey Cares understands that for a critically ill child, each birthday is a special milestone celebrating life. For the children in our programs, it not only marks another year, but it also demonstrates a great achievement. Every year, Casey Cares staff and volunteers work hard to send out each of our kids a special birthday package through our Birthday Blast program - there's over 1,000 that we send! This simple act of kindness delivers joy and hope to our kids who are undergoing harsh treatment.
Crafts and Creatures with Casey Cares
Diagnosed with spina bifida, Saige and her family joined Casey Cares in 2019.
Saige has enjoyed getting yarn wigs to wear, at-home Movie & PJ nights for the family, visiting the Maryland Zoo, and heading to Delaware State Park - all thanks to Casey Cares' donors and sponsors! According to mom Kathie, "for Saige [her favorite Casey Cares activity] has been the princess wigs that were sent to her. She also had a lot of fun going to the Baltimore Zoo!"
Kathie expresses, "She loves little gifts that are sent to her and she also enjoyed the crafts that were sent."
When it comes to Casey Cares, Kathie loves "that everyone reaches out and wants to help and be there for the children. It amazes me how much you guys do for us parents and our children. You put a smile on our children's faces and we thank you for that."
No Stopping Saige
Saige does not let her spina bifida slow her down in any way.
"Saige is a very outgoing girl. She has never let her disability stop her in any way shape or form, even with all of the surgeries that she has had. A lot [of surgeries] would have stopped a lot of children," says Kathie.
The birthday girl has even taken on cheerleading! Kathie continues, "She loves to try new things; at one point she did cheerleading and it was competitive. She loved it so much. Now, she is an 8th grader at a new school!"
The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered many families with critically ill children due to concerns of safety and wellness.
"She was in the VPL for school for 2 1/2 years due to COVID. I was afraid to send her to school with her disability, but she wanted to go and wasn't afraid," states Kathie.
Challenges of a Parent
Sometimes, it's a bit hard to find that smile when your family has a critically ill child. Some days and weeks are better than others for parents and caregivers, some are not.
When Saige was diagnosed, Kathie notes that, "At first, it was a challenge for me as her mother. I had to make sure that I did everything that I could to make her life better. It was very scary in the beginning for all of us because of the unknown still to this day."
Despite the unknowns, love that Saige's family has for her is evident. "Saige has overcome so much in the almost 14 years she has been alive. A lot of surgeries [will happen] over 18. She is my hero in every way," concludes Kathie.
You can support critically ill children like Saige this holiday season right here!