Conner Champ's Legacy
Conner's Cause for Children was founded over twenty five years ago by local families to help other local families in their time of greatest needs. From our beginning to our end, we have always strived to fulfill our mission to ease the burden for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. Thanks to a small staff, a dedicated core group of volunteers and the generosity of compassionate individuals, community organizations and corporate sponsors, Conner's Cause brought a much needed financial breathing space to thousands and thousands of families across three Southern California counties struggling to find the means to continue to access care for their medically fragile children.
These are some of their stories:
Meet Lohgan, Addah, Deliyah, Gahvyn and Emilee:
Emilee is the single mother of two month old Lohgan, sisters Addah and Deliyah and big brother Gahvyn. Lohgan spent several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit right after his birth because of serious congenital heart defects.
Emilee said, "It broke my heart to see my baby taken away from me and not be able to come home right away." Conner's Cause sent Emilee gift cards for gasoline, groceries and other essential items so she could visit Lohgan and take care of her other children's needs.
She shared with us, " I cried when I got the gift cards. They couldn't have come at a better time. Conner's Cause is truly are a blessing to all of these families in need."
Meet Cylus, Avaz and Zach:
Cylus was born with bilary atresia, a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that affects only infants. He was hospitalized shortly after birth for the first of many surgeries and procedures. At some point, he will probably need a liver transplant. His young parents, Zach and Avaz, spent every minute by his bedside, except for when Zach would leave to commute to his job, an hour away from the hospital.
One night, while on his way back to Cylus and Avaz at the hospital from work, Zach was in a terrible accident, which left him in a coma from severe head injuries. At the same time, Avaz was getting ready to face the next surgery for tiny Cylus. For the next month, Avaz spent days going back and forth between hospitals, until Cylus was well enough to be discharged and Avaz could bring their baby home. Zach opened his eyes after many months in a coma and only recently returned home to be cared for by his parents. He has made some progress, but it is still not clear how much he can recover from his injuries. Avaz is studying to be a massage therapist so that she can support herself and Cylus, and hopefully, one day, Zach. Cylus is now a year and a half and according to Avaz, “running around everywhere.”
Conner’s Cause for Children has been providing assistance for transportation, household expenses and other basic needs for Avaz and Cylus for over a year. Whenever we talk to her, Avaz always tells us the same thing, “You don't understand how much of a help Conner's Cause is. It’s awesome how you guys help families!“
Meet Faith and Danielle:
Four year old Faith was born at 32 weeks with gastroschisis, a rare birth defect in which a baby’s intestines and other organs are on the outside of the body at birth. Sometime during Danielle’s pregnancy with Faith, the blood flow to Faith’s intestines was restricted and Faith's intestines were twisted. When Faith was born, the doctors had to remove nearly all of Faith’s intestines.
Now, Faith is on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), a method of feeding that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. According to Danielle, “Faith receives TPN intravenous (IV) fluids 16 hours a day and cannot absorb [nutrients] naturally from eating table food because [her] bowel is so short everything that comes in goes out rather quickly. Faith needs TPN to give her body what she needs to stay alive.“ Patients on IV feedings are at constant risk of line breaks and serious infections.
When Faith was a year old, a group of doctors told Danielle that they feared that they were going to run out of “good veins” for her. According to Danielle, the doctors "didn't feel she would make it to two years old and now Faith is four! I'm very blessed to have her here.” For Danielle, who is the single mother of two other children, “everyday is a struggle because like any other child, Faith wants to play, but she can't do everything other kids can do like go swimming or even take a bath and just splash and play." Despite Danielle’s vigilance to Faith’s IV line care, she is still extremely susceptible to infection and is often hospitalized for days at a time, making it difficult for Danielle to work full-time to support Faith and her siblings. Danielle calls Faith “one of the strongest little girls I know!” and considers her “a blessing from the Man above!”
Conner’s Cause has helped Danielle take care of Faith by providing periodic assistance with regular gas cards, transportation and supply costs and other essential items that insurance does not cover. Danielle would like everyone to remember to “count your blessings as they come – big or little – and cherish the moments you have because one day the moments might become memories. God bless! And thank you Conner’s Cause for all your great help!”