“Kare for Kendall” Pajama Drive Launched to Aid Critically-Ill Kids

first_imgCindy and Kendall Williamson enjoy a tender moment. By Tim KellyKendall Williamson’s Christmas wish is for a cure to be found for her critical illness.Unfortunately, that won’t be possible in time for the holiday this year, so Kendall and her family are taking the initiative to help others.“Kare for Kendall,” is a drive to collect pillowcases and pajamas for children, from infants to age 18 who are in treatment and frequently hospitalized for life-threatening conditions.In March, 2013, then-three-year old Kendall was diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD), a rare condition in which an accumulation of fats in cells occurs, especially in the nervous system. As the fats accumulate, white matter in the brain is destroyed.“Kendall no longer has the ability to say ‘I love you,’” a friend said, “but anyone who meets her knows exactly what she’s trying to say the moment they see her smile.”Since being diagnosed, Kendall, who will turn eight in January, has lost all of her motor skill functions, including walking, talking, sitting and eating on her own. The disease typically results in a short lifespan when diagnosed in young children.Cindy Williamson (left) and daughter Kendall, diagnosed with a rare life-threatening disease. (Photos courtesy of the Williamson family)Despite her difficulties, Kendall maintains a positive attitude and has a smile that can light up a room.“People ask me what would she would like for Christmas, but there’s really nothing (material) she could use or play with,” said her mother, Cindy. “We wanted to put this (pajama – pillowcase drive) together in her name.  We are fortunate to have Kendall with us for another Christmas.  This is something we can do while she is still here.”Cindy, a nurse in the office of Dr. Gary Raab’s Ocean City Family practice, said donations of new pajamas and pillowcases may be dropped off at the office, 500 East 6th Street in Ocean City now through January 1.All items collected will be distributed to the families of critically-ill children through the Casey Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides uplifting programs for these special patients and their families. Kendall has utilized their services in the past, and her mom said it was an easy decision to try to do something to give back to the organization.Cindy Williamson and Kendall during an outing to a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.“We can’t do anything to cure these kids, but we can reach out and bring some joy when it is most needed,” Cindy said. “We know that our Christmases together are limited, so we want to share Kendall’s love while she is here.”Casey Cares Foundation provides things like movie nights, trips to sporting events, and fresh pajamas to help brighten the days of the kids and keep the spirits high of their families.For more information, please contact Cindy at (609) 827-9207 or Monica at (609) 827-9207.last_img read more

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