With the holiday season upon us and the warm and fuzzy feelings of family and gratitude that accompany it, we are thankful for those who make a difference in the lives of WRFN families.
This year we decided to revisit our roots as a reminder of why WRFN was originally needed and created. As one of WRFN’s five founding parents, I would like to share my family’s story with you while highlighting two of our current core programs.
He was born prematurely 29 years ago weighing just 2 pounds, 1 ounce. Kevin was missing pieces of his lungs and was hooked up to every machine imaginable.
And then… the ventilator blew holes in his lungs. There were more complications. For every step forward, Kevin took two steps back. He remained in hospital, 65 kms away from our family in the ICU for the first two years of his young life. During that time, Kevin underwent five surgeries while my husband and I struggled to navigate the hospital system.
And then…Kevin came home with an entirely new system of care for us to learn about. Our home looked like a mini ICU with a stream of professionals coming and going, daily. Imagine…all of that chaos and no privacy. We didn’t have to imagine…we lived it. My husband and I, and our older son, were grateful but felt isolated and alone.
For years, we wondered if there were other families traveling the same uncertain journey. And, if so, how could we meet them?
Twenty-Nine years ago there was no Waterloo Region Family Network. But, today, we are here for families when life takes an unexpected turn.
Parents benefit from our Parent Mentor Program where they are directly connected 1:1 with a volunteer parent mentor – someone who gets it and can truly understand their grief – the life they wanted for their child and the dreams they had, stolen.
Families are also directly supported by Erin, our Family Resource Coach, who provides personal guidance to each family she meets helping them to understand supports and service available to them and how to access them. The need for this role and support is increasing every day. Erin has already supported 225 new families this year in addition to those already supported through our network. It’s necessary to ensure that we continue to meet this growing need.
We could not provide these, and other programs, for families without your support. That’s why we are asking for your help this year. Your donation, today, will be matched by two friends of WRFN who have once again generously committed to matching the first $15,000 raised in our campaign.
Our network has already helped over 1700 families connect to vital resources in our community as well as to each other. But, we know there are many more out there who need us.
We ask that you please share this campaign with a friend and help us reach our campaign goal of $45,000. Together, we can make sure that no family is ever alone!
With gratitude and warm wishes for the holiday season!