When Chad and Lisa Borodychuk found out that their daughter Olivia had leukodystrophy, a disease that causes the progressive degeneration of the brain’s white matter. They wanted to do something to raise awareness for the disease and help others who have similar diseases. As a result, the Olivia Kay Foundation was founded.
The foundation helps children with severe impairments through various means, such as raising money for a child in need or even giving parents a much needed night off.
The Olivia Kay Foundation also began what is called, “The Pillow Project” to provide pillows to kids that need them in hospitals.
“When Olivia was in the hospital, she had to lay on her side. The doctors would use rolled up blankets and towels to prop her up,” explained Lisa. “Three years ago we started making her pillows to prevent pressure sores. The nurses said that the pillows were great, so we decided to make them for other kids.”
Olivia’s Positioning Pillows have brought comfort and joy to kids in need all over Michigan. There are currently 10 different hospitals that pillows are delivered to and nearly 800 pillows are given to children in need. Lisa and her mother make all of the pillows, with occasional help from volunteers. The pillows come in a myriad of shapes and sizes with things like Spartan logos or princesses on the print.
The Olivia Kay Foundation is still a small organization and is limited on what they can do, but Chad and Lisa are looking to expand to help as many children as they can.
“There was a family that was in need of a pulse oximeter but was denied. We got the funding for them and they got the oximeter,” said Lisa. “That’s just one way that we’ve helped recently.”
Not only do they help children, sometimes they help the parents of ill children as well.
“When you’re dealing with this sort of illness, a little time away can be a blessing,” she explained. The organization helps parents have a night out by donating movie tickets and dinner. While they are out, the organization tries to find an adequate sitter or nurse to donate a night to watch them.
The Olivia Kay Foundation is hosting an awareness walk in DeWitt on Sept. 24. It’s free to the public and the walk is less than a mile with many other activities for kids to do. This September will be the foundations fourth walk.
For more information about the Olivia Kay Foundation and how you can help, visit oliviakayfoundation.org.