Organized by: Blake Bahr
Our family wanted a way to give back to other kids on dialysis. This is a tough journey and we wanted a way to brighten their day and to help them pass the time while they are hooked to a machine to survive waiting for transplant.
Our son, Blake, went into kidney failure at 2 days old and spent the first 14 months of his life on dialysis 13-24 hours every day. Some children do peritoneal dialysis at home while other kids require hemodialysis several hours a day & several sessions a week in a hospital. I remember a handful of times out of our 135 day hospitalization where we were given a new book and it really helped pass the time and gave our family a temporary escape.
Blake's love of books made this an easy decision for us to follow our hearts and give back to the dialysis unit that helped our son so much at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. We've decided to use the money from our Christmas gifts for each other this year to start the fundraising for "Brave Books". We know the only thing that matters is that our son is happy and healthy. We are hopeful others would be willing to make a small donation and together we can make a BIG difference.
Ultimately we would love to buy books for all ages, activity pads, a few magazine subscriptions (for the teens being treated) and if we raise enough money an iPad & case for the unit to let kids take turns using during their treatment sessions. We are partnering with the hospital to ensure we use the money to make the biggest impact on kids currently being treated.
We will collect from now until January 2nd. We plan to purchase all of the items for the dialysis unit and donate them for Blake's 1 year kidney anniversary on January 18th in honor of our little guy and his donor Laurie Jansen - the amazing woman that changed his life by donating her kidney to him and setting him free of the confines of daily dialysis.
If there are schools, churches, youth groups, businesses or anyone willing to do a book drive in the St. Louis area we would be so grateful and could arrange a drop off/pick up or give you a shipping address where you can send books. Please message us on Facebook at Brave Blake's Battle https://m.facebook.com/braveblakesbattle/ to coordinate or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The dialysis unit sees kids of all ages. The only request would be new, unused books since these kiddos need to minimize their germ exposure.
Think of a child you know ...now think of that little one being so sick they spend countless hours attached to a machine to live. Let's do what we can to pass the time for them until the day comes they are matched for an organ and able to start their next chapter. We can't thank you enough for reading this and for considering helping us make a difference for kids that are incredibly brave and so very deserving.