Parents make, donate pillows for pediatric Patients

Amarion Bell, age 9, receives a pillow

Published: Dec. 9, 2015

Comfort can come in many forms. Sometimes it’s as simple as a brightly colored pillow for the bed of a seriously ill child.

Parents Lisa and Chad Borodychuk are donating hundreds of handmade positioning pillows to pediatric Patients at Sparrow and other hospitals. The pillows are designed to not only help with comfort but to also offer support to a child with tubing and wires connected to them while lying in bed.

Lisa Borodychuk began making the pillows for their own daughter, Olivia Kay, now 7, who was diagnosed at age 2 with Alexander Disease Leukodystrophy (AXD). The genetic disorder has progressively robbed Olivia of the ability to smile, walk, talk, eat, and sit upright.

The DeWitt couple established the Olivia Kay Foundation in 2014 and received 501c (3) status in June 2015. While the pillows are currently the foundation’s main focus, the long-term vision is to help other families of children with severe, multiple impairments by providing information, support and resources. Ultimately, those resources could include financial gifts to cover respite care, help in obtaining medical equipment or suitable transportation, and funding home improvements for accessibility.

“We know the struggles families face because the care is so overwhelming and exhausting,” said Lisa Borodychuk. “Even the little things that can help a child who is dealing with something serious can bring them great joy and comfort.”

The couple recently made another delivery of pillows to young Patients at Sparrow Children’s Center. They are hoping to eventually expand deliveries to every hospital in Michigan that has a pediatrics floor.

They also host an annual walk in DeWitt to bring awareness to the foundation, and are seeking businesses who want to support the pillow campaign by placing a Pillow Box at their business where people may donate bags of polyfil stuffing or gift cards to purchase fabric and ribbon for the pillows.

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