Sunday, December 15, 2013

High-5 to Parker and Sadie for Starting High-5-Club!

Parker is now 14 years old.  At 8 years old, systemic on-set juvenile arthritis settled in his body and changed his life forever.  During these past six long years of blood labs, scans, tests, procedures, surgeries, 12 specialists, infusions, therapies, counseling, research studies, medications, acupuncture, educational plans, shots, orthopedics, hospital stays, equipment, and more, (whew…that’s a lot) we have been on quite the journey.  We appreciate our many blessings, our huge accomplishments, many new-found friendships, family togetherness, and life just a little bit more intensely than before JA.  On this journey, we have encountered kindness, strength, love, and incredible little people who challenge this disease each and every day.  But Parker met one very special “little person”, Sadie, and they are now forever friends.

Parker met Sadie in the infusion room where both endured many days together getting treatment.  They quickly became great pals because they understand each other.  They cry together, laugh at things that only children with chronic illness would find funny, and continually uplift and encourage each other.  They quickly recognized they were not alone in this journey.  So, they decided to help all kids battling chronic illness know that they, too, are not alone.  So four years ago, they began helping uplift other kids.  They celebrated their birthdays together by collecting treasures for the infusion room in lieu of birthday gifts. Then, they collected food and gift cards for families in need, but they wanted to do more.  So they officially started their non-profit called “High-5-Club”, a 501(c)(3) #23-3186664.
Why High-5-Club?  Well, they joined a sort of “JA Club” when they got diagnosed and yet, good can come from difficult situations….So, High-5s are a fun, quick and easy way to encourage other kids and their families.  Families enduring chronic illness are on a constant, chronic journey filled with unknowns and heartache.  Parker and Sadie have great big hearts and they want to encourage and recognize that all kids are incredible and deserve tons of love and great big high-fives!  So, Parker and Sadie began working on their “High-5-Club” (, with a little help from us moms, and launched it to the world this month. 
What is High-5-Planning to do?  Our first High-5 goal is to boost the morale of families dealing with chronic disease by teaming with hospitals to distribute “High-5 Care Kits”.  These kits include pre-paid food and gas gift cards to help offset the cost of getting to and from medical appointments and treatment. After surveying families, approximately $150 on average are spent for each visit for medical treatment.  Medical treatments occur anywhere from every two weeks to 3 months, with many families going to monthly appointments.  And the more medical specialists a child has on his/her team, the more out-of-pocket costs add up.
As funding support grows, Parker and Sadie have four additional goals for High-5-Club:  The “Up High! ” Campaign (children encouraging other children), Social-Emotional Support (a webpage with resources and materials), Micro-Grants for Alternative Treatment, and Pediatric Fellowships.  These goals were chosen because we are trying to fill a gap in funding to meet needs of children with chronic illness and their families.  Parker and Sadie are kids on a mission and are very excited to share their joy with all of you.  
Many of you have already begun to ask about High-5-Club and how you can support Parker and Sadie.  There are several quick and easy ways you reach out and give “High-5s”. 
·   One, you can go to our Facebook page (Click here to go to our Facebook Page) and “like” High-5-Club; so you will get updates on what is happening and to reach out and give children virtual High-5s for the amazing things that they do. 
·  Two, you can make a High-5 donation by going to our secure website at or by sending a check to High-5-Club, P.O. Box 621044, Oviedo, Florida 32766. 
·  Three, you can let us know about a company or program that might want to partner with us or match funds we raise. 
·  Four, you can share this information with your friends and family to spread the word and help us raise awareness that all kids need “high-fives”. 
·  And five, you can post High-5s to other children by using our “high-five” pictures on our Facebook Page, or by sending a High-5 encouragement card (on website soon) and let them know how amazing you think they are and why.

High-5 to Parker and Sadie!  We love you!