My name is Nicole Allmond and I have a son named Savion who has Sickle beta thallesemia. We first heard of Embrace Kids foundation through another parent Regina Burden who encouraged us to come out for their annual walk.
We did and for 11 years have been either walking or volunteering our time for it.
Having a child with a chronic illness is extremely hard. Sickle cell is life-long, therefore treatment is constant. My son has had multiple surgeries, and even more hospital stays. I have lost several jobs due to needing time off to take care of my son. Financially, emotionally and spiritually it is stressful. Embrace Kids has been there to assist us not only financially but also with emotional support through programs that include the families in a positive manner. So many times I’ve been visited by Randi and Rachel who stop by the hospital to make sure we are okay and to see if we need anything. They have become our family, and without them I don’t know how we would be able to go through this journey.
Savion is 11 years old now and loves to sing and dance. Almost every year he opens up the Rutgers Dance Marathon with a dance routine. These events are such a break for families like ours. The holiday parties, dance marathon and other events allow our family to get together and forget about the illness that effects our family on a day to day basis.
- Nicole Allmond
I have five girls and two of them have Sickle Cell. It was challenging enough when Princess, who is now ten years old, was born with sickle cell. Then Christabell was born four years ago and was also diagnosed with sickle cell. Receiving such a diagnosis is gut-wrenching. Let me put it this way, three weeks to one month after having my baby, I received a letter from the board of human services that my precious baby has sickle cell anemia. What could I do but to cry and start questioning God. In time, however, I have learned to trust God for a special healing, which He has been so faithful to provide.
I would like to express my special gratitude to Embrace Kids Foundation for God has been using them to support my family during this time. In fact since we were introduced to Embrace Kids Foundation, they have always been there for me and my family. I was stunned last year, when I was unable to carry some household burdens, they were there for me. My kids received the biggest Christmas gifts ever last year through Embrace Kids and their precious and generous donors. I will ever remain grateful for their generosity.
I love everyone at Embrace Kids Foundation for their support and kindness and especially for their smiling faces. Thank you to all at Embrace Kids Foundation.
- Akuyoma Ejiofor, mom to the Boima family
Our son James, ‘affectionately called Jimmy’, is eight years old and has Sickle Cell Anemia. During one of his many hospital stays for a ‘Sickle pain crisis’, there was an Angel that appeared. This was an ‘earthly’ angel from Embrace Kids Foundation and her name was ‘Angel’. This was the start of a long lasting relationship between our family and Embrace Kids. We quickly became involved with the Foundation’s events such as the Heel to Heal Walkathon (Jimmy Express team formed), Rutgers Dance Marathon, Holiday Party, etc.
It is hard for any family to think about dealing with the news that your child has Cancer or Sickle Cell and how overwhelming it is. When you combine this with existing family challenges, the blow sometimes feels catastrophic. Embrace Kids has been a consistent source of help, both financially and emotionally to our family during our time of need.
It is always comforting to see and hear from our ‘extended’ family (Embrace Kids) who has dedicated themselves in being very supportive to us. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
- Sonya, James and Jimmy Williams
In 1991, my oldest son was born. He was born with Sickle Cell disease. God must have known I was going to need help dealing with this, because that same year, Embrace Kids Foundation was founded. Two years later, I gave birth to a second son. He, too, was born with Sickle Cell disease. As a single mother of three children, life can be very challenging. When you add on the fact that two of those children have Sickle Cell disease, it can also take a financial toll. Embrace Kids has been and continues to be a blessing to me and my family.
Embrace Kids Foundation has been a support system for me and my family for 21 years now. The fundraising efforts they have done over the years have helped many families, including mine. When your child has a life threatening chronic disease, hospital stays can take a toll on you emotionally, and financially. Many families have to juggle their work schedules so that they can stay in the hospital with their children. Embrace Kids makes it possible to concentrate on the health of your child. Over the years, we have attended Halloween parties and Thanksgiving dinners. At the Holiday party, Embrace Kids has provided my family with gift cards, and presents. None of this could be possible if it weren’t for the fundraising efforts of Embrace Kids. We have attended the Dance Marathons, Heel to Heal events, Dinner Auctions and Beyond High School Graduation Night. These are just a few of the many events that Embrace Kids has provided for children with cancer and blood disorders.
Both of my sons are in college now, and I really did not know how I was going to be able to afford to keep both of them in. Embrace the Kids has not only provided scholarship money for both of my boys, but money for text books and two computers. With the support that Embrace Kids has provided, both of my sons have managed to stay on the Dean’s list at their colleges. They have been able to concentrate on their academics and their health, and do not have the added stress of worrying about college finances.
Recently, both of my sons had emergency evacuations from their schools due to Hurricane Sandy. They returned home to find out that we also lost power, heat, and hot water. We had to stay with family for a week. I was able to check my email, and one of the first emails was from Embrace Kids checking to see if we were okay and telling us they would help us with whatever we needed when we returned home. When we did return home, we had to replace everything in our freezer and refrigerator. Glenn and Cynthia from Embrace Kids immediately supplied us with a gift card to replace the food that was lost in the storm.
Embrace Kids has been and continues to be a life line for me and my family. I don’t know what we would do without them.
- Felicia D. Hardman-Stradford