by Lindsay Ensor,
I recently wrote to our Loveland community asking for support for Loveland 4th grader, Mason Ensor, I had no idea the response I would get. The outpouring of love, inquisition and hope that you have shown was amazing.
In light of this, we want to bring awareness to Pediatric Illness of all kinds. Obviously, Mason’s story hit home with so many of you. It grabbed on to your heartstrings and you wanted to know more about it. You asked how you could help, how you could get involved and how you could learn more.
Mason has a long list of diagnoses and diseases. His are mostly Pulmonary and Autoimmune. His diseases are congenital and quite possibly terminal. Mason is currently on a medication regimen that is keeping him stable, and from the outside he looks great, but it’s a different story on the inside. His pulmonary function is low and he’s been in the hospital frequently. This little boy has a lot of fight in him!
[pull_quote_left]Other children in our community are also fighting pediatric illness.[/pull_quote_left]Other children in our community are also fighting pediatric illness. Loveland 5th grader, Elijah Walters is fighting Legg Calve Perthes Disease. While not life threatening, the disease is most definitely life-altering. Elijah went from an active baseball and football player to being diagnosed with a disease that causes there to be no blood flow to his hip. He will face several difficult surgeries, long, hard therapies and a tough road to recovery.
We are also very familiar with illnesses that aren’t congenital, but rather circumstantial, like that of Ethan Kadish, another Loveland student who was struck by lightening two years ago. That incident left his family with a life altering set of medical issues that changed their every day living. A normal, every-day kid that now faces therapies, frequent doctor visits and a lifestyle his family never envisioned.
Pediatric illnesses are never something a family can plan for – mentally or financially. When a couple is planning to have a baby, long-term illness is not usually something that is on their mind. Ten fingers, ten toes and a cooing baby is usually all that comes to mind. Hospital beds, beeping monitors and learning medical terms, medication schedules and hospital routines are not usually in the forefront. Becoming friends with hospital staff is never envisioned as becoming their reality.
Along with that reality come the financial struggles. Mason had to go Colorado to see a treatment team that specializes in rare pediatric pulmonary diseases. Elijah is currently in Baltimore with a team that specializes in Perthes Disease. Surgeries, lost wages, travel expenses, medications: these become the norm. Suddenly lives are turned upside-down. One day everything is going on as normal and the next you’re sitting in an emergency room or a doctor’s office being handed a diagnosis you never imagined.
[pull_quote_left]We ask that you continue to keep these families in your thoughts.[/pull_quote_left]To think, these are just three of Loveland’s boys of which I’m aware. I know of countless others in other school districts – five that I can think of without effort – that suffer from serious, life-altering pediatric illnesses. Living in Cincinnati, we know there are thousands of children fighting pediatric illness. We have one of the country’s top ranked children’s hospitals right within our grasp; even still, we have to travel the country to find treatment for our sick young ones.
So, thank you for your support. We ask that you continue to keep these families in your thoughts. You can read more about their stories and how you can support them by following the URLs below: