There are simply no words to express our heartfelt thanks for your generous gift that is helping us get a very special headstone for our daughter, Ava Duchene. This means the world to us and we are beyond grateful. Please express my sincere thanks to all those who made this available to us also. It is because of people like you that families such as mine are able to get help.
Thank you again,
Ava Duchene's Mom
Our daughter Kaley was born via c-section 7 weeks early on January 3, 2015 due to my high blood pressure. The doctors at DHMC knew that they would have a challenge with her because they could see throughout my pregnancy that she had fluid in her body. When she was born they had to intubate her immediately and they did a quick drain of the fluid in her body hoping that it would take care of the fluid problem. It did briefly but the fluid came back again and again. The doctors and specialists realized that they were dealing with something more complicated than they originally thought. They realized that she had leaks within her lymphatic system that were causing her to keep re accumulating fluid and not hold onto nutrition. DHMC got in touch with numerous hospitals from around the country and they came across Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who was doing research on her rare condition which was diagnosed as Lymphangiectasia. The doctors wanted to find out if her condition was Pulmonary or Intestinal and CHOP said that they had the equipment to check. At 3 months old Kaley was flown to Philadelphia. When CHOP ran her through their special MRI machine they realized that her condition was so severe that she had it all throughout her body. Her lymphatic system had so many leaks that they could not even tell us a number and there was no cure. Kaley ended up flying back to DHMC where we just hoped and prayed that with time that she would get better. She seemed to get better and we were even planning on her coming home. We had a home visit and ordered her home equipment and set up her room and everything. Unfortunately on September 10, 2015 at 8 months old Kaley lost her fight. The hospital could not get any more IV access and her body could not hold nutrients. During this 8 months my husband and I worked on and off but with Kaleys condition being so up and down we had taken more time off with fear of not being there for her. Between the back and forth driving to DHMC and the back and forth driving to Philadelphia not to mention our normal monthly bills and caring for our two older children it got really difficult and expensive. Jaidens angel helped take a huge burden off our shoulders by helping us with some of our bills so that we could enjoy what little time we had left with Kaley.
Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!
Isaiah, Michelle, Jaden, Lily and Kaley LaBrosse
My name is Eli. My entrance into this world was very traumatic to say the least. I was born three months early, had the H-flu and was not breathing on my own. The doctors and nurses helped me to breath using machines. The machines caused damage to my lungs which created lung disease. I had stage four head bleeds caused by the machines they used. I fought the flu and struggled to breath on my own for two and half months. The doctors had to put a shunt in my brain to help drain the fluids.
I am now three months old, or 1 month old corrected age. I feel much better and am gaining weight (8 pounds now), and am breathing on my own with only a little help from a low flow oxygen. I am very thankful for all the help from doctors and nurses at DHMC, and help from Jaidenís Angels to make it possible for my family to come see me at the hospital and to now take me to all of my necessary appointments.
Note from Mom:
I wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for helping to purchase the Van. I have an extreme sense of relief now. The worry of how I was going to continue to visit Eli at the hospital, and the worry of getting him and my other children to appointments and school and such is no longer a worry.
I can't express how thankful and grateful we are. The work you do is wonderful and you saved us a lot of hardship.
Thank you so very much.
Thank you so very much for your generosity. We are forever grateful for your donation. Because of your payment towards our bill, the hospital actually wrote off the remaining balance. You have taken a huge burden off our shoulders. Thank you for the peace you have brought us during this very difficult time.
Gemma, Donna and Gary
Time line from right before Eljanaís sickness, through her sickness to her recovery: February 21st to June 12th, 2015
Eljana Dobrozi came down with a severe staph infection, MRSA, sepsis, fever and rash in the first week of March 2015, and spent her first birthday very sick at home, unable to walk or enjoy her first birthday cake. She was taken to the hospital and started on numerous antibiotics, IV fluids and pain medicine on Friday March 6, 2015, the night before her first birthday party. Dozens of friends and family were planning to attend her birthday party the next day on March 7th, 2015. At the hospital, Eljanaís symptoms kept on progressing and after a little over two weeks in the pediatric ICU, she was transferred to Boston Childrenís Hospital.
Once Eljana arrived to Boston Childrenís Hospital on March 15th, she quickly underwent surgery to treat her aggressive infection on her lungs, neck and heart on Monday, March 16th, 2015. She was sedated for a total of 8 days and was given cutting edge antibiotics, a breathing tube, multiple IVís and a catheter. After the 8 days she started to come around! Eljana was released home on April 8th, 2015 with a PIC line, to still receive antibiotics, and had to be given shots two times a day, to make sure the blood clots were receding, (where bacteria likes to hang out).
Since being released on April 8th, Ella then had to go to Boston Childrenís Hospital at least 2-3 times a week, to make sure she was still on the path to healing. Often Ella was getting more blood drawn, than I even want to remember, to check her levels. On April 29, 2015 the doctorís finally stopped the IV medication, and took her PIC line out. Although, she was still receiving her anticoagulant shots, two times a day, until June 1, 2015, but it was a step in the right direction!
Finally on May 7th we had Ellaís first birthday party! However, she was bleeding uncontrollably from the catheter where we administer her anticoagulant shots, undenounced to us. After she blew out her candle, we noticed blood seeping through her pants, and ended up leaving in an ambulance from her first birthday party, to spend the night at the Elliot in the pediatric ICU.
Since then, her shots have since been discontinued, as she has finished that round of medication on June 1st. Ella is happy and healthy and only needs some slight PT intervention, due to her missing 7 weeks of her life.
Jaidenís Angel was able to help and support our baby girl getting better. I am a teacher that works with challenging students of all kinds, and my husband works construction around the Merrimack Valley. I was covered under the FMLA, while I was out of work, but without compensation. My husbandís work was reduced, to due to him spending most of his time at the hospital and driving back and forth between my son, who is severely mentally ill, (his step-son ) in Salem, NH to Boston, MA. Jaidenís Angel was able to provide co-payments for my work insurance and new tires on my car, which was desperately needed, for commuting, back and forth from Salem, NH to Boston, MA, Manchester, NH and Londonderry, NH, for numerous doctor appointments. Without Jaidenís Angelís assistance, I would not have had medical insurance, or a safe vehicle to drive back and forth to Ellaís much needed doctorís appointments.
Ella is on the road to recovery now. She is doing great and it seems that this awful illness was a fluke. The doctorsí have desperately tried to see where she got it from, but her immune system is up and working, (Thank God). It seems that you can get MRSA anywhere, so please, be aware, wash your hands often, and wash down the carriages at the supermarkets, when your children get in them, with the sanitizing clothes they provide you with. If you think there is a problem, go with your gut, Ellaís temperature never got above 101, because her white blood cells were compromised. Within a week from Monday night until Friday afternoon, she was fighting for her life. I brought her to the doctor three times and was on the phone with them all day on Thursday.
Overall, throughout the course of her illness Eljana had two PIC lines placed through surgery, two surgeries on her lungs, and two blood transfusions. Her diagnosis was disseminated MRSA infection retro pharyngeal mediastinitus thrombo embolic thenomina. Through the love, prayers, warm healing thoughts, and reiki from all Ellaís friends, family and even strangers, she made it through . She is our little miracle child and I cherish every day that we have with her.
Thank you again Jaidenís Angel for helping us through the worse time in our life.
Love, Eljana, Dorjan, Kevin and Tricia.
Thank you all so much for your generous contribution towards our son, Zachary's headstone.
Nate and I are grateful beyond what words can express. Jaiden's Angel is a wonderful foundation that has helped relieve some our our stress after our precious son passed away. We would like to sincerely thank you all again from the bottom of our hearts!
Megan and Nathan,
(Zachary Michael Sousa's Mommy & Daddy)
Photos show Myles (on red blanket) and Athena (on polka dot blanket) as newborns; and then Myles today.
On May 27th, 2014 I went into labor 14 weeks early. The pregnancy was going ok until I started getting sick. Turns out I had Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy and the only way to save my life was to deliver my twins. I had to have four surgeries and 20 units of blood transfusions and was in the ICU for 6 days. I don't remember much from that first week but was told the babies were doing well. Myles weighed 1lb 15oz at birth and Athena was 1lb 9oz. I fought hard to get out of ICU so I could meet the babies. I was still on bed rest and could barely move but they sent me up to the birthing floor on June 2nd. I held Myles but could not hold Athena because of a procedure she had just had done. Around midnight on June 3rd Athena passed away from complications from that procedure. We were devastated. We had tried to get pregnant for 3 years and were so excited to have a boy and a girl. But we had to be strong and stay positive so Myles could continue to grow. After being in the hospital for 2 months he was discharged. He is now growing big and strong.
We want to thank Jaiden's Angel for help with the hospital bills and funeral cost. This help has allowed me to take off extra time from work to stay home and care for Myles.
This was an answered prayer that we are forever grateful for.
Colleen, Peter, Caleb and Myles In loving memory of Athena
In 2008 my husband and I made one of our wishes come trueÖ.. we had the opportunity to move to a small town in NH and raise our young children, who at the time were 6yrs and 17mo, on a small piece of property. We purchased a fixer upper and began raising chickens (which started from a school project). Things were going great.
18 months later I lost my job. I was out of work for 9months, a far cry than most people during that time. With me being the primary income we had to rely on our savings that we had to fix up the house. I consider myself lucky, I was offered a position. It came with a price however. My salary would decrease by 25%. With our savings drained, we feared losing the house so I accepted.
We adjusted our life style and managed for about 3 yrs. In 2013 there were now 2 family members with medical conditions we were trying to manage and cope with, depression and ADHD. The fixer upper we purchased is now in desperate need of some fixing up. Things were starting to get really tough.
Then shortly before Christmas 2013, our 6yr old daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Our entire life as we knew it changed in a blink of an eye.
At the time we only had one reliable vehicle, it broke down. We reached out to Jaidenís Angel foundation for help. Not only did they help us with the auto repairs but we also received a generous amount of food and gas cards. A huge weight had been lifted when we received their care package.
It has been 9 months since her treatment began. We still have another 2 or 3 to go before she begins maintenance. I have been able to stay home with my daughter since the day she was diagnosed. It has been the most difficult time in our lives. If it werenít for the generosity and support of foundations like Jaidenís Angel I would not have been able to be by my little girlís side on this unknown journey we have found ourselves on.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!! ,
I can't thank you enough for helping us financially. I can pay my mortgage for 2 more months now and not have to worry about losing my home. That's huge.
Wyatt is improving here at Spaulding Rehab Hospital. He doesn't sleep very much and it's a big problem. However, I now, at least, can see a light at the end of this very long tunnel.
Wyatt has a long road ahead of him but I know he'll find his strength. And I heal as he does too. I couldn't do any of it without the support from folks such as you guys at Jaidenís Angel. Please accept thanks from the bottom of my heart. It truly means a lot. I will continue to keep you posted on Wyatt's progress.
Again, many thanks,
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the help we received from the Jaiden's Angel Foundation for our son Ivan's illness. Ivan was born with multiple congenital heart defects and a rare lung condition called congenital lobar emphysema, as well as various other lung problems. These were discovered over the course of three months after Ivan was born.
He needed a surgical patch in the hole in his heart and a section of his lung removed for the emphysema, and was in the ICU on breathing support for several months altogether. My husband and I were anxious to stay in the hospital with Ivan. He was a medical mystery for quite a while.
The doctors were not able to get to the bottom of everything that was going on and we didn't know what his prognosis would be. We ran through much of our savings that we didn't expect to by being out of work staying at the hospital with him, especially during his multiple surgeries. I was on maternity leave but my husband had planned to return to work soon after Ivan was born.
We were having trouble paying the bills that kept coming in as we came to the bottom of our savings. Jaiden's Angel Foundation made a month's mortgage payment on our behalf and also supplied us with a generous amount of grocery gift cards. This really helped us to take away some of the financial worry so that we could focus on learning with the doctors about our son's condition and thinking positively for him to get well and being there to support him and treasure our moments with him.
I know that some parents are not as fortunate as us and their children do not make a full recovery and I can't imagine what I would have done if I had been forced to go back to work not knowing if my son would be okay. I'm happy to say Ivan was able to breathe on his own at about 3 1/2 months old and was discharged from the hospital. He's 7 months old now and has grown into an active, chubby, chatty boy. Our family will never forget what this foundation did for us during our hard time.
Devon Richard Gould Parr died at the tender age of 2. Jaidenís Angel was contacted by an Advocate; who was seeking assistance on behalf of Devonís Father for this precious childís final expenses. From Devonís obituary:
Devon will be remembered as a loving little boy who would bring a smile to your face, was very cheerful, loving, caring, energetic, outgoing and loved to dance. Known as "Daddy's little Madman," Devon loved monkeys and his favorite toy was a sock puppet that said "I love you more than bananas."
From Devon's Father in a written statement to Jaiden's Angel Foundation:
"Helping me with my sons wake and funeral and head stoneÖ it helped me out a lot. I did not have the money to cover this stuff, so thank you for all your help. Here is a picture of my son, Devon Richard Gould Parr. Yours Truly, Christopher Parr"
On October 4, 2012 my daughter Alivia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The constant trips to Dartmouth were very expensive. Jaiden's Angel helped with the expense and sent me plenty of gas cards. It is very appreciated that I don't have to stress about coming up with the funds to get my daughter back and forth to chemo treatments. Thank you so very much.
Nicole Perra, Alivia's Mom
This is a difficult letter to write. Almost as difficult as having to ask for help in the first place. As a single Mother of four, I pride myself on my independence and self-sufficiency. Not that it has been a choice, but a necessity born of the situation.
Mikaela was born with CLOVES Syndrome, and extremely rare vascular disease afflicting only approximately 100 people throughout the world. How the heck did we win that lottery?
For all of her four years, she has suffered through surgery after surgery, hospitalization after hospitalization, constant illness and pain on a daily basis. She is unable to live the way a child should live Ė yet through it all she is still the happiest, most cheerful, and loving little girl I have ever known. And that just amazes me every day. Being her Mom is a privilege and a joy.
Mikaelaís father abandoned her when she was only one, my parents are both deceased, and we have no other family to lean on; it is just me and the four children. Caring for Mikaela has become my full time occupation, and my days are consumed with medical appointments, medications, and simply being there for Mikaela in her good moments and her bad ones.
We plodded along as best as we could until the world came crashing down upon us this past December. It was discovered that a vascular mass had almost completely engulfed her left lung; partially collapsing it and placing her in grave danger. She was sent home from the hospital to enjoy what might be her last Christmas before returning to Childrenís Hospital Boston for surgery. The day before her scheduled surgery to attempt to remove her mass, I sobbed as the surgeon explained to me the limited possibility of my daughterís survival. I decided then and there that if Mikaela was going to die, it would be warm and safe and loved in my arms; not cold and alone on some operating table.
With only one last slot available in a drug study on vascular anomalies, I opted for that instead. All of my hopes are now on 12 months of medications that I had never before heard of (which has mad mixed results thus far).
Needless to say, my travel costs (for continued visits to Childrenís Hospital to monitor Mikaela on the study) are going to be higher than ever. With no help from her Father, I wondered how I was going to manage this added financial burden.
Jaidenís Angel Foundation stepped in and provided me with enough gas cards to manage the entire 12-month course; a tremendous relief to me! They even provided help with food costs. With no one else to turn to, I could not believe that there was actually someone out there willing to help. Taking that much burden off my shoulders leaves me better able to concentrate on caring for my precious and brave little girl. I hope they will be around to help families like us for a long time to come.
Jean Carrick, Mikaelaís Mom
On March 30, 2012, after numerous blood tests and consultations, we received the news we had been fearing. Our daughter Brittany, a high school junior, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lupus nephritis; an auto-immune disease which was attacking her kidneys. Our life was turned completely upside-down. Treatment started immediately and Brittany was admitted into the hospital, her kidneys declining rapidly. As it so often goes, complications arose which made her stay much longer than expected.
It didnít take any time at all for Holleigh, a long-time friend from high school, to reach out to me to let me know that Jaidenís Angel Foundation was here to help. I needed only to say the word. I have always been in awe of all of the incredible work that Jaidenís Angel Foundation does, reaching out to families in need when theyíre at a point in their lives that theyíre not even sure what they need or how to ask for it. Iíve seen other friends benefit from the generosity of this organization. Never in my darkest nightmares did I think it would be me who needed reaching out to.
And, truth be told, itís not easy to accept help. Itís uncomfortable. Itís humbling. Itís not something that any of us want to admit to needing. But, Holleigh made it such a comfortable experience for our family. She has a way about her. Itís so hard to explain, but she made the process so much easier for us. She explained to us how she didnít want us to have to worry about certain things so we could concentrate on getting our daughter better. Things like an unexpected oil bill, paying for gas to drive back and forth to Lebanon, and wondering how to budget in a higher grocery bill with Brittanyís new restricted diet. They helped to ease some of our burdens so we could focus on what was most important, getting Brittany into remission and just being there for her.
We have a long road to travel and have already hit many bumps in that road. But we know that Jaidenís Angel Foundation will be there for us as we continue our journey, cheering us on every step of the way. For that, and all they do, we are extremely thankful.
With much love and gratitude,
Rick, Doreen, Brittany, Anthony and Benjamin Lopez
Last year our lives were turned upside down when our 3-year old daughter became suddenly and mysteriously ill. Jaidenís Angel Foundation made it possible for both me and my husband to be with our daughter, Zoe, rather than worry about how to pay the bills.
Zoe has been hospitalized for 90 days over the first five months of aggressive treatment for her ATRT brain cancer. She experiences severe side effects and needs constant intense support. It is an honor for us to walk with Zoe through these challenging days. Her joyful spirit and zest for life in the midst of this crucible humble and inspire us. Because of your generosity, we are able to be at Zoeís side. We are sincerely grateful for your dedication to families like ours.
David, Catherine, and baby brother Cam Meinen
Benjamin entered our lives on August 24, 2011, along with his twin sister Lillian, at 33 weeks. Benjamin was born with Down syndrome and large pleural effusions. The first 24 hours of his life he showed not only my husband and I, but the entire NICU staff that he was a fighter. Soon after his birth we learned Benjamin was also born with hemivertebrae, which resulted in him missing a rib. The pleural effusions were caused by a condition called chylothorax. As a result of this, his lungs were drained of the fluid 5 times, once before delivery and 4 times after, each time the fluid surrounding his lungs returned and increased.
On the twelfth day of his life, I was able to hold my son for the very first time. It was the greatest day for all of us, one we will never forget. Soon afterwards, his health began to decline. It was very difficult for my husband and I to watch our daughter thrive and make great strides while our son became more and more ill. Along with having Down syndrome, pleural effusions and a hemivertebrae, Ben was diagnosed with severe pulmonary hypertension and was put on nitric oxide. Within days, he was diagnosed with a blood disorder called myleoproliferative disorder, yet Ben continued to fight to be here. Every day I drove to Boston, on weekends and nights my husband joined me, to be with our twins. The cost of gas, parking and food did not stop us from being with our daughter and ill son.
Day 24, while sitting outside in the 6th floor garden at the NICU, I asked God, “Why?” Why bring a child into this world so ill? The answer came to me quietly - Lillian. She is Benjamin’s forever gift to my husband and I. Ben stayed alive inside of me just long enough to ensure Lillian’s safe arrival. We will be forever grateful for this beautiful gift. Two days later, my husband and I had to make the hardest decision of our lives, to discontinue Benjamin’s life support, for his heart and liver were showing signs of failure.
On September 18, 2011, Benjamin passed away in my arms with his father and sister beside him. He will forever be missed by all of us.
It was on the day of his funeral that we learned of Jaiden’s Angel Foundation. My sister in law, for whom I am forever grateful to, was contacted by a friend and family member about the foundation. Jaiden’s Angel Foundation paid for Benjamin’s funeral cost and also paid one of his multiple hospital bills. My husband and I are thankful that there is such a foundation out there to help families like us.
Thank you for all your help,
Shelby, Bill and Lillian Hamel
Forever Benjamin’s family
I wanted to thank you for the support you have given us. We were able to actually shop for groceries for a change, which was nice. The gas cards helped tremendously with trips to Boston. Lyra is a great little fighter. She should be posted on the cover of a fighting magazine for worldís toughest fighter.
Lyra has developed pulmonary vein stenosis; tissues growing in her veins that run between the heart and the lungs, ultimately causing blockage. She will be having another surgery to open those veins and then she will start chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of the tissue. With her heart condition, she is not a candidate for a lung transplant, which is an option for most babies. We are trying to make decisions that will give her a chance at life now, and are praying that we will be successful.
After her surgery and recovery, we will bring her home and care for her, until the next surgery to fix her heart. I have resigned from my position so I can be there for Lyra. We continue to pray for her survival, as with the development of this pulmonary vein stenosis, we have been informed that only 1 in 5 children will survive. So Lyra will be that 1 that survives; we hope anyway. The air purifier will be of great use when she does come home, and we will get that going before she comes home to make sure we do have the best environment for her. We continue to ask everyone to continue to pray for our little Lyra. Again, thank you for all that you have done to help us through these trying times. It is so greatly appreciated.
Erika Cook and Chuck Evans
We were blessed with a gift from Jaiden's Angels foundation this past September, after the sudden and tragic death of our 16 year old daughter, Rebecca Tenney. Rebecca got suddenly ill with flu-like symptoms that were diagnosed 2 weeks later as a virus that did irreparable damage to her organs, and caused Viral Meningitis, of which she could not recover. We took her off life support on September 12, 2010. She had been surrounded by the love of friends and family for her last hours with us on this earth, and God's arms wrapped around her as he took her HOME.
We were numb, exhausted and didn't have any idea where to begin, except we knew we had to plan a funeral for this beautiful, loving teenager that we never in our wildest dreams thought we would ever have to do. We, as most parents, didn't financially plan for such a need and we struggled with what to do. We were amazed when our pastor came to us and told us we were receiving this gift from another who also had lost their child and started this amazing foundation so they could pay that love and support forward.
At that point as you well know, we couldn't digest much of anything except these people who didn't know us at all, wanted to reach out to help us in our time of grief and extreme pain. We had never heard of this foundation and your work until our loss, but we now look forward to helping in any way we can, so this amazing ministry can continue. We have found comfort in helping others in their time of grief. Your thoughts, prayers and help during this time were unexpected, and that is what made it so special for us. The love and support that Jaiden’s Angel provided has given us the ability to reach out to others that have lost children tragically. We still receive so much love and support from our church, community, family and friends, and it is what keeps us going. What a true blessing you and your family are, and continue to be to so many. With God’s love, Mark, Tammy and Kassie Tenney ~ Becca's f mily
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right; forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
September 14th 2010 started out like any other day for us, until almost 5:00 pm when we got the phone call that everyone fears. We were told that our precious 17 year old daughter Chelsea was in an accident and they called us to the hospital but couldn't give us any information over the phone. My heart sank to my stomach. At the hospital we were told that she didn't survive the accident, that they had tried everything they could to help her. We felt like our lives had too ended. Our lives changed forever at that moment. We never thought we would be put in the position of having to face what lie ahead. Making funeral arrangements for your child that should be alive and happy is the most heart wrenching series of events one must endure. Itís not something we ever thought we would have to save for, but we wanted her funeral to be as beautiful as our daughter was.
We were familiar with the Jaidenís Angel Foundation. Through family and friends we knew of Jaidenís tragic accident, and had always prayed for the entire Tlapa family. We were inspired by the strength and devotion of this wonderful family in carrying on their daughterís spirit by helping others going through similar situations; never once did we think we ourselves would be turning to them for help. We cannot thank the Tlapa family and Jaidenís Angel Foundation enough, not only for the financial but emotional support theyíve provided to us and so many other families. Holleigh, Paul and the entire Tlapa family Ė thank you for being there to help us through this most difficult time.
Mike, Virginia Fuller
Forever, Chelsea's Parents
Our 4 year old daughter Beth was diagnosed with Wilmís Tumor on Friday October 22, 2010. Wilmís Tumor is a rare form of childhood kidney cancer. Unfortunately, due to having already metastasized into both lungs, her diagnosis was at stage 4.
This news was devastating to us, our family and friends. We had waited many long difficult years to be blessed with our daughter. On Monday, October 25 the surgery to remove the tumor and kidney took over 7 long hours. Waiting for it to be complete was excruciating. Our pastor and close family members waited with us.
Her initial surgery was followed by two scary nights in the PICU and then transfer to CHAD. We knew the road ahead was a long and difficult one with scheduled chemo and radiation treatments. But even the doctorís could not predict the exposure to chicken pox that occurred on Bethís first day of chemo treatment in early November which then made it necessary for extra precautionary meds, or the collapsed lung that was found on the afternoon of Christmas Eve when we had been awaiting discharge to go home. Our faith and the support of family, church members and friends have sustained us through this journey.
On the day before Thanksgiving, our pastor visited and gave us a gift from Jaidenís Angel. Your generous check was used to allow Don some extra days off to spend with Beth and I during her treatments. I had my own surgery in late July that was more complicated than initially planned. Don used much of his earned time to care for Beth during my recuperation in August. As a result, he had used his paid leave time for 2010.
Thank you again so very much for giving us the gift that gave us the peace of mind that he could take the time with us that was needed without having to worry about the financial ramifications. Beth still has a couple of months of intensive treatment ahead and a lifetime of scans and testing for monitoring purposes.
God Bless you and your family, the supporters of Jaidenís Angel and all those families you have been able to assist in Jaidenís memory.
Carol, Don and Beth Brooks
On January 2nd 2011 our world was turned upside down when what we thought was a fever that was just hanging on turned into there is something wrong with Pierce's, our baby, bone marrow. We were sent to Lebanon, 90 miles from home, immediately. It was a long and quiet ride, our minds were full of questions. The next day we were given the devastating news that our 6 month old has Leukemia. What a whirlwind the months that followed were. Our son and I spent two months in the hospital, while his father went home during the week to work and drove up on the weekends with our other son. I had to take an unpaid leave of absence so I could stay for our son.
We learned about Jaiden's Angel from a friend of mine that lives in Milford. We are so grateful for any support that is given. Jaiden's Angel application process was simple. We were awarded gift cards for gas and a gift card for Au Bon Pain, which is in the hospital. With gas prices going through the roof the gas cards came at a perfect time! It is great to be able to focus on our son and not have to worry about how we are going to pay for gas for the continued trips back and forth every week to the hospital. After eating cafeteria food for two months the gift card for Au Bon Pain was very appreciated! It is so nice to have more options for food and again not have to worry about what we are spending. We have learned to appreciate all the good in our lives and Jaiden's Angel is definately one of them!
We have been moved by Jaiden's Angel positive response to a very difficult road they were given. We have been moved and motivated by it and hope to start a foundation of our own in the future. Thank you Jaiden's Angel for being a bright light during a difficult time. We pray for you and your family and know that Jaiden must be looking down from heaven and beaming with pride that her parents are making such a huge difference and people's lives. You and Jaiden will always be our Angels!
Nothing about this past year has been easy for us and especially for our daughter, Molly. She has had 3 heart surgeries, 2 were open heart. She also has a trach and a g tube. We are hoping that the trach & g tube are temporary but like everything else only time will tell. She was in the hospital for 8 months in the cardiac ICU and after being home for 5 days she was readmitted for a GI bug. That readmission made us realize that with any little bug, cold or sickness she'll end up back in the ICU. Unfortunately, our hospital stays are not behind us because she is going back in June for surgery on her intestines because they are malrotated. Driving into Boston every day for the past 8 months weighed heavily on our expenses but because of causes like Jaiden Angel it makes the burden of yet another hospital stay a little easier.
No one should ever have to go through what any one in our position has but I truly believe it makes us much better people and that much stronger.
Thank you for everything you've done not only for us but for all of the other families that have had to go through hard times!
Jay, Kerry & Molly Leary
Dear Holleigh and Jaiden's Angel Foundation,
We wanted to send our most sincere thank you for the donation and the gas cards. I cannot begin to tell you how much we appreciate them. They arrived at just the right time......I truly feel like Jaiden was watching out for us.
Having a chronically ill child is isolating, tiring, and financially draining. Our lives were turned upside down when our youngest daughter, Brigitte, was born with so many debilitating issues. Each year has brought devastating diagnosis and more and more inpatient stays at Children's Hospital Boston.
We had just begun to deal with the cards we had been given and realized that our lives would never be the "normal" we had always imagined, BUT we would make a new normal and roll with the punches. That is until we got the devastating news this past June that our youngest son had an emergent brain abnormality which required a very invasive brain surgery. Once again, we pulled up our bootstraps and made it through the mud. Sean did really well during his surgery, but 9 days later, Brigitte was once again in the operating room undergoing life-saving, but life-altering surgery yet again. We had yet to deal with the stress and emotions stemming from Sean's disease, and instantly had to focus on getting Brigitte to survive. Miraculously, once again she survived....but a month after that we found out Sean's surgery wasn't succesful and he was back for his second brain surgery in 8 weeks. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!!!
Jaiden's Angel Foundation has helped us tremendously in dealing with some of the financial burdens. It was especially helpful during the holiday season.
Our family would like to thank the Jaidenís Angel Foundation and all who support it. You truly honor the memory of Jaiden and Chase.
We will be forever grateful. Thank you again for your generosity.
Bryan, Shannon, Brenna, Jake, Sean and Brigitte Kaiser
The day we were informed our beautiful, happy, healthy, vivacious 16 1/2 year old son Gage Austin LaFontaine had died instantly in a motor vehicle accident, the bottom fell out of our World. Gage’s two best friends were in the vehicle with him. One of them also died instantly and the other was in Boston fighting for his life. The police called it a “catastrophic” accident.
It took every ounce of our strength to just stand on our feet. The task of telling family & friends was incredibly difficult. As we informed people of our loss, they all naturally asked how they could help. Our answer was “I don’t know. Just come and be with us.” Having never been solely responsible for funeral arrangements for anyone, never mind one of our children, we had no idea where to turn. We literally couldn’t think straight.
We were fortunate enough to be put in contact with the Tlapa’s and in turn with all of the amazing volunteers from Jaiden’s Angel. Having been through a tragic loss themselves, they had insight to the needs of a bereaved family that were invaluable to us.
I have put off writing this testimonial for a long time. Gage died on April 27, 2009. The reason being, how do you explain what it means to a bereaved parent to have virtual strangers enter your life and take care of the details you had no idea even existed? How do you put into words what it means to feel that although you had only 4 days from the day you were informed your child was killed, to the day you were to have his funeral (and you also had another wake of someone so special to your family to attend in the meantime), you know that his funeral was as perfect a tribute to your child as was possible?
All because a family who had faced an unimaginable tragedy decided to honor their child in such a beautiful way. Their foundation ensured your child was honored properly as well.
Holleigh, Paul, their surviving children & their wonderful friends and family members that make up Jaiden’s Angel gave us something so precious that no one else could. They gave us, strength & hope to go on. They were the first bereaved parents we had contact with and they allowed us to ask the really tough questions. We cried for our children together. They were truly interested in who Gage was. They shared with us who Jaiden was. Their eldest child (who was also mourning her two friends) was open and honest with her feelings, and helped me to understand how my children were feeling. They showed us that although life would never be the same for us…we would always be a family of six.
They took on so many of the details we would have overlooked had we not had their help. They came by and picked up hundreds of printed pictures and memory cards of our beloved Gagey. When I broke down and could not choose pictures they said don’t worry about it, we will take care of it for you. They waited while Gage’s friends and brothers chose music for this tribute to his life. They created an absolutely beautiful DVD tribute for Gage’s funeral service. They came to the funeral & took care of playing the DVD for us.
Jaiden’s Angel not only secured the function room for after the funeral, they also supplied all of the food. They were prepared to pay for the food for the 300 plus guests. However, I was given a list of local businesses that were kind enough to donate food & supplies for the event. Their volunteers served the food & refreshments & cleaned up afterwards. I remember Holleigh coming to me with the question of which of the many floral arrangements I wanted to keep. I never even thought that due to the fact that Gage was to be cremated there would be no gravesite to leave the flowers. She asked if it would be all right to donate the dozens of arrangements to local nursing homes and maybe drop some off at the local businesses that had donated so much. After deciding which ones to keep, Holleigh handed me the ribbons from the arrangements, knowing from experience that I would want those. The Foundation has also been kind enough to extend an offer to pay for a burial plot & donate funds for a gravestone if we were to choose to purchase one.
These people who appeared in our lives in the depths of our tragedy have remained in our lives. I know instinctively if I were having a bad day or a question only a bereaved parent can answer, that the Tlapa’s will be there. Through our tragedy we made life long friends with the Tlapa’s and the wonderful volunteers from Jaiden’s Angel. No one ever wants to believe that they will be touched by tragedy. They especially don’t want to believe that a tragedy will take away one of their children. Unfortunately, it does happen, and I feel extremely grateful that Jaiden’s Angel weas there when it happened to us. Every bereaved parent should be so fortunate to have earth bound angels to help ease some of the burden. The people of Jaiden’s Angel truly are angels.
Tracie, Scott, Jacob, Cameron & Jude
In May, 2010 our son, Chase, tragically lost his life at the age of 15. The next few days were filled with activities and decisions that seemed unfair to ask from a family still trying to comprehend the death of their son. Memorial services, funeral arrangements, announcements where overwhelming both emotionally and financially.
Holleigh Tlapa reached out to our family to see how the Jaidenís Angel foundation could assist us. The previous two years we had supported the Jaidenís Angel Foundation in small ways, purchasing pins, donating a few dollars here and there. Never thinking that there would be a point in our lives that we would be recipients of the generosity of people who had made similar or more significant donations to the foundation.
The help we received went beyond financial, it helped us realize that we did not have to endure this heartbreaking tragedy alone. At our darkest hour, it was this support that took us by the hand and guided us through the darkness.
Today I have a sincere appreciation for the generosity of the human spirit. And how important it is to listen to that voice inside when it says to help someone in need, to help a good cause, to do what you can to ease the pain and burden of others.
Our family would like to thank the Jaidenís Angel Foundation and all who support it. You truly honor the memory of Jaiden and Chase.
~ Chaseís Family
On June 3, 2009, our seemingly perfect lives were turned upside down. Our youngest son Drew was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. His body was no longer producing red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. We were suddenly and unwillingly thrust into a new lifestyle of hospitalizations, clinic visits, transfusions and fear. We were constantly driving to and from Boston, often more than once on a given day.
Holleigh, someone that I am proud to have known for more than 25 years, contacted me immediately. Throughout Drew's first year of treatment and recovery from a Bone Marrow Transplant that he received November 18th, 2009, Holleigh and Jaiden's Angel Foundation has been there for us.
Holleigh and her family have taken the hardest role for a parent to bear and turned it into an awe inspiring foundation that supported us in our time of need. The many, many trips to Boston were made so much easier and less stressful by simply reaching for a gas card. Jaiden's Angel Foundation made that part of our daily lives more bearable. To not have to think about that part of traveling was such a relief and comfort to us.
For this, we will always be grateful
We are so proud of Drew and everything that he has had to endure this past year. We pray constantly for hope, strength and recovery. We also thank Jaiden's Angel Foundation for everything that they do to support families like ours in times of crisis. I can think of no better way to honor the memory of a very special little girl who continues to make such a positive impact on this world.
Thank you and God Bless.
My Isaiah was a little, BIG man! He was born prematurely on March 8th 2010 he fought a courageous battle for 10 days. He amazed his doctors with his phenomenal health and will to survive...but somewhere around the 8th day he started to slip and on March 18th, 2010 he went home to be with Jesus.
Our precious little boy was such a character already even in such a short time and we all fell so deeply in love with him...and though our hearts are grieving for our little boy, our spirits, somehow, through all of this, have been lifted in a way that I never would have expected.
The true support and love of this community and Jaiden's foundation are evidence to me of the true humanity in people and what a beautiful thing that is...a beautiful testimony amidst our tragic loss and deep anguish.
I cannot even express how grateful we are for your donation to help ease the financial burden we incurred. The whole month that we were in the hospital...I was on bed rest for about 3 weeks prior to Isaiah being born....my husband never left my side and once Isaiah was born, of course neither of us left his side...we never once worried about the financial aspect while we were in the thick of our crisis but instead focused our prayers on him and just had faith that somehow things would work out financially.
Jaiden's foundation has come through in an indescribable way which just continues to increase our faith...and while no loss is ever worth or can be rationalized by the good works that follow such tragedy and pain, we are so grateful that even while you journey through your pain, you have chosen to keep Jaiden's memory alive through helping other families who are trying their best to cope with the unthinkable...and while we would never want any parent to have to go through this...we are grateful that we do not have to journey alone because of your courage!
Thank you isn't enough...
Christine & Kevin Maxwell
We want to say thank you for your generous donation of gas cards. When our daughter Sofia was diagnosed with a brain tumor our world came to a sudden halt. There are no words to describe the feelings when you are given that kind of news. We were completely overwhelmed with all the support, not only from our family and friends, but from our community as well. When a child is sick, it's unbelievable what people are willing to do to help in any way they can.
Sofie's tumor isn't cancer, but it is treated as such. Unfortunately it's something we will have to deal with until she is old enough to receive radiation treatments to completely remove the tumor. We now have a little over a year that we will have to go back and forth to the Jimmy Fund in Boston so Sofie can receive chemo therapy treatments once a week. We never thought of the expense of gas going back and forth. We can't thank you enough for taking some of that burden off our minds.
Again we say thank you for your generosity. Our hearts and prayers are with your family as you continue to heal.
A great big thank you and much Love,
Kelly, Jeff and William (Sofie's big brother)
To say thank you for your caring and generosity seems like too little of a gesture. The donation and gas cards you have sent have helped in so many ways. With all of our energy focused on getting Jude healthy, not to have to worry about such a simple yet needful thing like paying for gas is such a great gift. When Jude was diagnosed with a tumor on his spine never did I think that there would be anything positive to take from this experience. I was so wrong.
The kindness and generosity of friends, family and above all strangers have made this such a humbling and truly inspiring experience. We are hopeful that with Jaiden watching over him, Jude will recover. We look forward to someday meeting you and participating in future fundraisers. Thank you so very much for your extremely generous contribution to us for Jude's care.
All our love,
Kim, Matt and Jude
The family of Angel Dixon would like to thank Jaidenís Angel for all the guidance and support they have provided during this time of need. Jaidenís mom, Holleigh, reached out to Angelís family to provide guidance on how to harness the love and support of the community.
We were so stunned by the accident and focused on Angelís condition that we hardly knew what was happening outside the hospital. Jaidenís Angel worked with the extended family to get a Web site to gather prayers for Angel and to help raise funds for the medical expenses, as well as making a donation. Theyíve been an invaluable resource for the family during Angelís recovery.
The Family of Angel Dixon
When our precious daughter Madelyn became ill at just 8 months old we were heartbroken. Little did we know that the true devastation would come 3 years later when she suddenly passed away. Losing a child is the worst things a family can ever go through and I say this with the experience of having been on both sides of the fence. We watched Madelyn fight for three years and it was so difficult. I can't even begin to explain how hard it is to watch your child suffer through surgeries and procedures, hoping that each cut and each stitch will make them better. As her parents we had an undying hope that a miracle would find her but we had no idea that her miracle would find her in Heaven.
Although Madelyn was so sick, she was still with us. Now she is gone, and when they are gone it is forever. Losing her was for worse than anything we had ever experienced. Madelyn left behind 2 siblings, an older sister Rosalyn, and a baby brother Mason. Madelyn seems to have been the center of our family being the middle child. We were blessed to have had Madelyn in our lives, even for such a short time and we miss her more than words could ever say.
We feel very fortunate to have had the help of Angel Jaiden's wonderful parents Paul and Holleigh Tlapa during the most difficult days after Madelyn's death. They immediately offered to put together a slide show of our family photographs, which we showed at Madelyn's funeral. The slide show was put to music that we chose, and it has become my most treasured possession. Each picture captured an actual moment in Madelyn's life that was experienced later by all of those who knew and loved our daughter. The photos told the story of Madelyn's life from her very first hours, to her last days. Our fondest memories are now beautifully arranged so we can see her smiling face whenever we want.
We are forever grateful to the foundation for their work as well as the contributions made to purchase Madelyn's final resting place and stone. It is so unfortunate that a tragedy such as this is what brings people together; but it is also so amazing to see that even good things can come from grief. Jaiden and Madelyn are forever friends in Heaven, smiling down on us all...our Guardian Angels.
Rachael, Maddyís Mom
Connor Edmunds was a vibrant, energetic 6 year old boy. He loved nature, parks, playing in the dirt and most of all, Connor loved people. He was the only 6 yr old I ever knew that truly LOVED going to school, everyday, 5 days a week. He always looked forward to going to kindergarten and seeing his teachers and classmates
Connor was a very curious and mischievous child, with no fear! When Connor was just 18 months old he accidentally fell off a second story deck and received several stitches on his head as a result. He quickly bounced back and was off exploring again as usual! He enjoyed tinkering and fiddling with all sorts things; he was a true hands on person. Everyday he'd come home and tell his daddy all the adventures of his day at school, focusing on his favorite activity; recess. The days they canceled recess due to inclement weather he'd always get depressed.
Unfortunately on March 28, 2009 that fear and curiosity caught up with Connor, when he accidentally drowned in the water he loved so much. Connor died doing what most kids his age loved to do: seeking, exploring, expanding and just being a kid.
Within 1 day of Connor's passing, the funeral director handed me a number to contact a person by the name of Holleigh from jaidensangel.org. He explained to me it was a non-profit organization started by a parent that also lost their child at a young age. The funeral director then went on to tell me about her story in brief and some of the broad services they offer other families coping with the same tragedy their family went through.
She was the best contact I ever made! Unfortunately this organization knows all to well what families are dealing with during the sudden and tragic loss of a child. It is inspiring how someone took their tragedy and turned it into a glimmer of hope for other grief stricken families. Without the help, guidance and support of this organization, I believe some families would be lost. Fortunately we had some key supports in place but we realize not everyone is privileged to have that luxury. With the fine people of Jaidenís Angel Foundation, that can be possible! Thank you for reaching out to us and your donation.
Matthew, Connorís Dad
Adin is a beautiful little baby, and doing very well. The cardiologist says everything is looking well and we donít have to go back for 3 months. He seems like a very bright and alert little boy. I thank God that Adin is doing so well. WE want to thank you for all your help. It made it easier to cover some of the bills that were being put on hold. It means a lot to know there are so many good people out there. My heart did cry out for that beautiful child Jaiden that didnít make it. I cannot imagine the pain Jaidenís parents have and are going through. Comforted by the fact she is sitting up on the lap of Jesus and is smiling, waiting on loved ones.
Thank You so much!
Crystal, Adinís Mom
In Feb of 2008, our oldest child, Sean was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. We were devastated, to say the least... In a blink of an eye, our world was changed.
Itís funny how things always seem to come back to you. I remember when Jaiden was in the accident, being a small floral shop owner in Milford, I had a customer call me to place an order for your family. When she told me what had happen, I began to cry. In my line of business, we tend to try to be strong when dealing with these types of orders. But, at that point in time, I was so taken back; I could not help myself from feeling your pain.
I prayed every night that Jaiden would make it through. When she passed, all I could do was think of you and your family. It made me reflect on the love that I feel for my daughters and son. We sometimes get so wrapped up in life we forget to really see what gifts we are to each other.
We would like to thank all of you sincerely for helping our family in our time of need. Dealing with Sean's illness has been one of the most difficult things our family had ever faced. It really helps to know that we are not alone in our battle.
We received the check and the gas cards. I don't know how to thank you enough. I want you to know that your kindness will never be forgotten. I really think that what you have done in creating Jaidenís Angel is amazing. Iím sure that it will help so many in the future, like it has helped us.
When you go through things like this, sometimes, you feel alone, the world just keeps on going. Itís very deeply touching when you meet people who understand and care. Again, thank you for your kindness.
Sincerely, Bob, Michelle, Sean, Madison and Bailey
Thank you so much for your kind contribution to our family. And please know that I wish you the smoothest road possible in recovering from your sorrow. I feel for you and your family so much and wish there were something I could do to help.
I believe Jaiden must be so proud of you. You are truly a wonderful person to turn a tragic event into a way to help people struggling through difficulties. Though I battle with blaming myself for Abby's leukemia every day (Did I feed her the wrong things? Did I expose her to fumes when the muffler broke? etc.etc.) I try to believe what everyone tells me - that sometimes things just happen - and there is nothing you can do about it - because nobody can anticipate or recognize all the risks in this life.
Please accept my sincere thanks and empathy.
With love, Beth Labaugh
Even though we havenít met, or even know each other. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of Amandaís final expenses. I have friends who are supportive and love me. But I know they donít know what it is to lose a child, and you do.
You took care of a burden I donít know if I could have handled. Thank you.
I am a single Mom, never went to college or have my own home. I do the best I can with what I have. And thatís OK. My girls know they always come first and I loved them every day and we took on lifeís problems together.
Nicole (Amandaís sister, 17) and I have our good days and bad; with people like you in the world the good days are better and make the bad days bearable.
With Much Love & Thanks,
Robin and Nicole
I would first like to say your strength is commendable. We have participated in many of the local fundraisers in hopes of the fund being successful in your daughters honor. I am sure you can relate when I say NEVER did I imagine needing this assistance.
THANK YOU for the gas cards and Donation. We received them yesterday upon arriving home from Boston. Nickolas is patiently waiting for his new glasses, and he wanted to thank you as well. Getting lenses for a frame that is light weight and appealing to a 13 yr old boy with his prescription and safety needs was not easy.
Again, our thanks for your generosity, thoughts, prayers and assistance. Our thoughts and prayers are also with you and your family, as you continue to heal. I am certain Jaiden is watching us all and approves of your acts of kindness!
Jodi (Nickís Mom)
We want to thank-you for your generous donation and yes it is so very helpful and appreciated.
We would love to have the opportunity to meet you and do the canvas hand-prints.
I want you to know I pray for you and your family often and am deeply touched at your ability to reach out to others in need.
Brenda (Lexiís Mom)
I so appreciate your commitment to forming this foundation. While we didnít know Jaiden, I remember clearly when the accident occurred and just how devastated we all felt for you. I am sorry for your loss of your little one. Itís a pain I hope to never feel.
Thank you so much for your generosity, we are overloaded with the financial demands, this generous gift will certainly help offset costs.
I got your gifts, thank you so much! I so appreciate all you are doing for families like us. It really makes a difference!
Troy and Mary (Charlieís Parents)