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Jan. 25

WonderFold Cares - December 2022

We’re getting near the end of the year, but some families still need our help. Here’s how WonderFold Cares made a difference in December 2022.

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See what WonderFold Cares has been doing in December 2022

To our dearest WonderFold family, we made it. The holidays are here, and the bright lights of this joyous and festive occasion come with them. Wherever you are in the world, we hope you had a fantastic 2022 and are looking forward to an even better 2023. 

This year, we’re happy to say we flourished under a wave of positivity at WonderFold. We helped so many families and communities in need. 

It warms our hearts, but our journey doesn’t stop. As we draw closer to the holiday season (and throughout it), we’re assisting families who need that extra help. As part of that, we’re excited to have more stories to share with you today. 

Today, we’ll be sharing the stories of:

  • Amy Bortel.
  • Mackenzie Rose.
  • Bailey Westerhold.
  • Brittany Heckman.
  • Tanya Christian.

So if you see a name you recognize, feel free to jump straight to their story. Otherwise, read each story below and let these beautiful souls bring happiness to your day—just as they did ours.

Let’s get started. 

Amy’s Story — Everyday Heroes and a Gorgeous Grandbaby

This is the story of a lovely daughter and grandbaby living with high-risk stage 4 neuroblastoma. The grandbaby in this story was diagnosed with the horrible disease in October and has since started treatment in Los Angeles—45 miles from home. 

As you can imagine, life isn’t easy for Amy’s family. However, despite the difficulty, there is happiness to be had—a new baby joined the family on November 9th. 🙂 

Unfortunately, though, looking after two kids isn’t easy. In fact, we’ve spoken to mothers worldwide and know how hard it is, and we’re sure you understand how challenging it is, too. 

However, since the lovely grandbaby of this story is living with high-risk cancer, life for Amy’s fam is even more challenging than that.

Her family sometimes have to go back and forth from the hospital five days in a row so that the grandbaby can get her treatment. Sometimes, the grandbaby doesn’t even get to come home from those treatments.

Now, imagine what needs to come with Amy’s family on the days when Grandbaby can’t come home:

  • Toys
  • Games
  • Diapers
  • A stroller
  • Baby seat
  • Extra clothes

Not to mention, Amy’s family has to find a place to park in a big LA hospital, which can be troublesome.

However, that’s not all there is to this story—this story also includes two everyday heroes

The mother in this story is a nurse, and her husband is a fireman. So getting time off to tend to poor Grandbaby isn’t easy—they have to take lots of sick days and vacation time to stay with her.

We understand how difficult that must be, and we wanted to do everything we could to help. So we’ve donated Amy and fam one of our W4 Elite wagons.

W4 Elite Stroller Wagon



The W4 Elite Stroller Wagon holds up to 4 children, but for Amy and her family, it will provide ample storage space to ensure they’re equipped for Amy’s in-patient stays. It has a deep carriage, a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs, and even zippered mesh panels on the sides for extra storage space.

Amy and fam, we hope it makes your life easier. <3

And remember, because both of your parents are everyday heroes, you can also sign up for our exclusive heroes discount should you ever need more from us. 

Mackenzie’s Story — A Gift for Difficult Times

This story isn’t easy to talk about. Recently, the Rose family found themselves in a difficult situation. The mom of this dear family is caring for her four children all on her own—two of her children are four years of age, and the other two are only babies. 

We mentioned in Amy’s story how difficult looking after two kids is, but being on your own with four kids, we can’t even imagine.

However, Rose has a caring support network helping her pay her bills, and we want to help, too—because Rose—we’re told you’re an incredibly sweet family.

So, like with Amy, we’ve gifted Mackenzie Rose and her family a W4 Elite Stroller Wagon. We know Mom was saving for a wagon, but you don’t need to save anymore. We’re here to help. <3

Bailey’s Story — Surgeries with a Little Warrior

This next story features Bailey, but be warned, it’s another hard one to hear.

It all started when Bailey went to find out the gender of her second baby. After two unsuccessful trips and having specialists tell her they couldn’t identify her baby’s gender, she contacted her obstetrician.

Bailey’s obstetrician booked her in for an ultrasound—and it wasn’t long after that when Bailey was told some terrible news. 

“Your baby will not make it past 20 weeks of pregnancy. The baby has too many defects to survive.”

Hearing this news is just horrible. And unsurprisingly, Bailey had to start going for weekly heartbeat checks afterward; she suffered from depression, and it all ultimately changed her life. 

As time went on, Bailey learned more about her baby’s condition. Her baby had:

  • Spina bifida
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Bilateral clubfoot
  • Tetralogy of Fallot

  • And not long after, Bailey went into early labor. She was admitted into hospital before having a C-Section weeks later.

    The good news is the baby boy made it. However, there were more complications for Bailey and fam ahead—her baby was born with VACTERL. Jump to today, and he’s had ten surgeries:

  • Spinal surgery
  • Open heart surgery
  • Brain surgery
  • And more…

  • The latest surgery took place in December, where he had a section of his bowels removed, a G-Tube put in place, and his bladder repaired.

    As you can imagine, that means there’s constantly a lot of equipment on hand. For Bailey’s family, it’s difficult for them to now remain mobile and enjoy the outdoors. This is where WonderFold is stepping in. We’re also gifting Bailey and the family a W4 Elite Wagon. 

    Brittany’s Story — A Valuable Surprise

    We love it when our WonderFold wagons are surprises, and this is precisely what this wagon is; let’s take a look. 

    Brittany’s baby is around six months old but, sadly, lives with cancer. So Brittany has to travel to St. Judes Children's Hospital in Tennessee every two weeks. 

    However, Brittany doesn’t just have one six-month-old to look after. She has another little one, too. And traveling to the hospital so regularly with them both is difficult—especially when Brittany has to fit both of them into the stroller and has a car seat to bring.

    So we’re thrilled to hear that Brittany's friends and family want to surprise her with a wagon, and we’re happy to accommodate that. 

    Brittany, your support network told us that a W4 Elite Wagon would help you tremendously, and we hope it does. We hope it makes your life easier, so please enjoy it, and let us know how it helps. 

    Tanya’s Story — Two Heroes. We Want to Give Back

    This last story is about two veterans who’ve both served tours in the Iraq war. The first veteran is Tanya, and she’s had a tough year. 

    She was recently diagnosed with an incredibly rare form of cancer. It stopped her from working, and she had to undergo chemo and radiotherapy to try and be rid of it.

    There is good news to be had. Tanya is now cancer free! 

    Yet, despite being a veteran and hero, she is not exempt from medical bills. 

    Additionally, her husband is a veteran, too, who was medically discharged from the military after ten years of service. This was after having several back surgeries, which now means he struggles to help with his and Tanya’s children.

    So we want to give the two heroes of this story a W2 Elite Stroller. We hope it gives you more chances to get the kids outside, take them to soccer games, and even the zoo! We wish you the best in your recovery Tanya and hope a wagon provides valuable memories with your family and kids. Thank your sister, Jennifer for giving us this opportunity to give back to you. 

    W2 Elite Stroller Wagon and a happy family

    Wonderfold Cares, and Here’s What We’re Doing to Help

    That’s it for our WonderFold Cares stories. However, we’ll be busy going into 2023 supporting other families in need. If you think you or someone you know needs help, please fill out our WonderFold Cares form, and let us know what we can do. 

    Alternatively, if you’re an everyday hero like the heroes in Jennifer and Mackenzie’s family, check out our exclusive Everyday Heroes Discount.

    Finally, if you want to learn what else WonderFold has been doing to support our community, check out some of our other WonderFold Cares blog posts: 


     

    9 comments

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    I would like to Nominate Nicole Spain for a free charitable 2 seated Wonder wagon. She has two children and works full time. Her first born Elizabeth is 5 years old and a handful. She likes to run and play inside or out. She is always on the go. While contending with so much energy with one child she has Emily who is 3 and can not walk or talk. She was diagnosed with a rare disease called Rett. The brain is born normal but regresses as time goes by. Emily was learning how to clap, feed herself, and crawl, but as she got closer to one years old, she started to lose the skills she had learned. Now she need 24 hour care.
    Taking care of two kids and working full time is time consuming and very tiring. Nicole tries to take the kids out, but with Elizabeth running off and trying to keep Emily sitting up and not crying can be a handful. Having a beautiful large wagon to strap both children in would be such a glorious help.

    Ann Marie Remillard

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    MAY. 12

    WonderFold Cares | April 2022
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    WonderFold Cares | April 2022
    It’s our favorite time of the month again. WonderFold Cares has developed so much and we couldn’t be more grateful to give to more families in need. If you or a loved one is in need of one of our Wonderful Wagons, submit a story! We would love to hear from you and hopefully you or your loved one will be selected to win one of our stroller wagons. For the month of April, we had the honor of giving stroller wagons to multiple families and organizations.

    WonderFold has had the privilege of donating to numerous nonprofits and organizations where we gifted outr W1 models for auctions for organizations such as the Chicago Autism Light It Up Blue Event; the TCP Care Auction where Wonderfold was actually one of the top three performers and was able to raise $5000 to help those diagnosed with Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy; the Charlotte Schwieger Leukemia Auction; and Gigi’s Playhouse.

    Here are some of the stories from our recipients last month:

    Jessica is one busy woman. With her fourth children coming this July, her and her husband have a lot on their plate. That’s why Jessica’s best friend nominated her for a WonderFold Wagon. The two women have been best friends since they were five. That is 24 (!) years of non stop laughter, support and love. The two met in pre-school and are now navigating the tribulations of adulthood and motherhood. Jessica is now a full-time mom after being a preschool teacher and her husband wears a lot of hats – namely, a fulltime firefighter, EMT, an ER psych department employee and a basketball coach. Phew! That’s a lot of hats! And we also cannot forget that, even while pregnant and being a mom of three, Jessica offers to help other families who may be returning back to the office with childcare. This couple doesn’t stop! But everyone needs some rest and relaxation, especially this couple. They love to have walks in the park, go to the pond and do some fishing, and visit their dad at the fire station. With three babies and a fourth one on the way, there aren’t a lot of options for larger families. And with Jessica and her husband’s hands so full, they deserve to have them free on their family outings. Which is perfect with their brand new X4 Stroller Wagon! With the weather being warmer and a July baby, this family is gonna have a great summer.

    The Rijksens have traveled a long way for their family. The family emigrated from Aruba to the United States in search of better healthcare opportunities for their daughter Lunah. Lunah had been denied life-saving interventions, including a heart repair procedure, in the Netherlands and Colombia. In Aruba, even with socialized medical insurance, Lunah with her T18 diagnosis have not been able to get the treatments that she needed in time. The Rijksens had to leave their entire life including their other kids and family back in Aruba for the care of little Lunah. But everyone is on the same page that Lunah’s recovery is top priority. The family made the move to the US in 2016 and since then, Lunah is getting the care that she desperately needed in Utah. Though there are still some uncertainties with Lunah’s medical challenges. Despite her medical journey, Lunah is happy and healthy and loves to be outdoors. The Rijksens want Lunah to live her life to the fullest. Wonderfold gifted the Rijksens a W1 Stroller Wagon for Lunah and all her adventures.

    Ashley Surch is a mother of two little kiddos with a spouse in the military. While her partner is deployed, Ashley loves to take her children out on adventures. To the park, museums, pools, the world’s their oyster. And we love to see it. With a partner that’s away all the time, it’s tough being alone with two children. The Surches were gifted a X2 Stroller Wagon for all their adventures.

    Angie and her husband and their two kiddos, Gianna and Ronan, are a military family who are simply trying to make ends meet. Ronan is almost two but had a terrifying experience at the start of his life. He was only three days old when he was rushed to the hospital and kept in the PICU for almost a month. After months of countless tests, Ronan was diagnosed with Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia which is a rare metabolic disorder. The first year of Ronan’s life was tough to say the least and it led Angie to staying at home to be with the kids. And with her husband being deployed and living on a single income, the Ebojo’s are making the most out of their situation. Ronan continues to surprise his family and is taking on his medical challenges on the chin. In June of last year, Ronan was diagnosed with another rare disease – Kawasaki disease. With all the therapy, tests, and numerous doctor’s visits, Ronan’s first two years of his life hasn’t been the easiest. And being a military family, the Ebojo’s don’t have a lot of family close by making trips to the doctors a little harder as little Gianna joins them. Taking two kids, along with all of their belongings, including medications is a lot on Angie. But with their brand new W2 Stroller Wagon, the Ebojo’s trips to the doctors will be a little bit easier.

    Whew! Another month down, folks! If you or a loved one – whomever that may be, are in need of a WonderFold Wagon, we would love to hear from you. Submit your story here. Parenting is hard enough and without some resources, it can further push us. A WonderFold wagon can make it a little bit easier. I said a “little bit”. See you again in May!

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    20 comments

    Hello,

    I am currently in the process of adopting my nephew. I have had him since he was 4 months old. He was born at 34 weeks and was also born addicted to drugs unfortunately. This has caused him to have developmental and cognitive delays and currently is about a 7-9 month old baby instead of a 14 month old. He also has feeding difficulties and gastroparesis. And insurance seems to think that even though he has official diagnosis that he doesn’t so they refuse to cover something more accessible for him.

    When eating he has to be reclined or laying down. He absolutely loves the outdoors so going places like to the zoo or park is hard because we have nothing that will accommodate him properly.

    Plus with all of his appointments it’s so hard to feed him when we’re out and about. People will stare at us if he lays down on the floor, but he will not allow you to hold him to feed. He is fed 100% by bottle. He cannot take anything else by mouth currently. And has to be put in a reclined or laying down position to help aid in digestion and he physically is unable to properly lift his bottle to the correct level to drink out of it. (We have been working with an OT and feeding therapist to try and get him where he needs to be with drinking a bottle but he is still just so far behind.)

    With him being cognitively behind and developmentally standard wagons do not meet the need of having a 5 point harness to keep him in place without risking him injuring himself because he has learned to climb out of them. Silly boy can’t walk on his own due to hyper extensive joints, muscle weakness, and hypotonia, but can climb out of seat buckles like no other.

    He is the happiest baby in the world and would 100% benefit from having a wonderfold wagon. It would give him access to do things he loves easier. It would allow him to have a more normal life.

    Ashley tucker

    I have also emailed Caitlin about this. My story needs changed. Yes I received the wagon however, it was a gift for her mother (Nicole). Tiar is my step daughter, who is 8 years old traveling to st jude hospital for her terminal cancer diagnosis. Adrenal cancer stage IV. NICOLE is the one traveling and with not only Tiar (8 years old) but with baby sister who is 6 months old. I am very appreciative for this post we both are, but can we please do an edit to the story cause it is incorrect. Mom found the article and shared it to me and was very upset. Feel free to reach out to me. Again, I have also reached out to Caitlin about this mix up.

    As for the wagon, mom loves it and it was a very welcomed surprise and gift. Since receiving it just before christmas 2022, she has had to travel with it in airports and says it has made a huge difference in her life to be able to comfortably get both Tiar and baby sister to the other end of airports and has made appointments at st jude childrens hospital much easier for Tiar to remain comfortable and content during these last few weeks of being treated. THANK YOU WONDERFOLD special needs and cares program. If not for you, Nicole would still be struggling immensely trying to juggle both of them.

    Brittany heckman

    I have heard great things about these wagons for families with special needs kiddos. The problems are they are so pricey and there are no resources for us to get financial help for one. I wish there were more options in financial help

    Autumn Taylor

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