This cause is near and dear to my heart because of my own little girl with a feeding tube. Having a child with a feeding tube is hard to see as a parent, because you want your child to have their best chance at everything, especially when it comes to eating.
It’s been quote the roller coaster having a little girl with a feeding tube. A lot of work and upkeep goes into it, more than I ever would have imagined. But the little time my little girl has been on a feeding tube, does not compare with the years my friend, Sara’s son has been on one. You can read a little about his story here:
Stephen Fleming is our super sweet, precious little boy who is 3 years old. He has high-functioning autism (mild), a pediatric feeding disorder (due to GERD and dysphagia), and is G-tube (feeding tube) dependent. He began having difficulty with eating as an infant and has been in therapy since then to help him learn to eat. However, the process has been more difficult than we ever imagined.”
Because their son has been on a feeding tube for so long, he needs help to learn how to eat by mouth again and to be weaned off of his feeding tube.
We finally have the opportunity to help Stephen wean from his feeding tube, by going through an intensive feeding program at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a 2-month program designed specifically for kids like him. Our insurance will only partially cover the costs, which include travel, food, medical care, and the program itself.”
In order to pay for the part of the program that their insurance won’t cover, Paul and Sara have designed a special t-shirt for people to buy as part of a fundraiser to raise money for their son Stephen to become tube-free.
We designed this t-shirt to represent our family, our son Stephen, and how we want Stephen to be tube-free! Stephen’s talented aunt Laura hand-painted the beautiful heart and wings. The Mic*key button on the heart stands for Stephen’s feeding tube. The angel wings and the heart stand for freedom, and the word “believe” is two-fold, as it stands for our faith in God, and also our faith in Stephen’s ability to be tube-free.”
Sara has worked so hard to get to this point. She has dedicated the past three years of her life to helping her son, and now they have a program that can help their son eat food by mouth and not through a tube. If you would consider buying a t-shirt in support, I know they would appreciate it more than they could ever say and as a parent to a tube-fed baby, your support not only touches the Fleming family, but also touches other parents whose children are also on feeding tubes.