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Walk-A-Thon to benefit families with disabled children
BARSTOW • The non-profit organization Babies So Special is holding a fundraiser Feb. 22, dedicated to families that have disabled children.
The Babies So Special 5-Mile Walk-A-Thon starts at noon at Barstow High School, and prizes will be awarded to the children who raise the most donations.
Barstow resident Cathy Williams, along with Camille Gentry, started the non-profit organization to assist families that have disabled children. Williams spends her days taking care of her 7-year-old son Caleb Lucas, who was born with a congenital heart defect and requires full-time, in-home care.
“Babies So Special is a nonprofit organization that we started to help out families that have disabled children,” Williams said. “We help supply gas cards, food cards, lodging, whatever family may need. Like if their child is hospitalized, or with everyday life.”
Caleb was born with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, which forces one side of the heart to do the work of the entire organ. The 7-year-old boy’s chest is scarred from 50 different heart surgeries, including nine open heart surgeries, but despite the numerous operations still needs a heart transplant.
Williams has to keep Caleb inside at home virtually at all times, as Caleb’s immune system is highly vulnerable. He recently began attending school online through Skype, as his immune system does not allow him to attend school with other children.
“Why I started Babies So Special is because when I had Caleb, I recognized the needs a family has when you have a disabled child,” Williams said. “Especially living so far away from a hospital, because I live so far from Loma Linda.
“That’s the only place Caleb can go to get the majority of his treatments. I just realized how much it costs. You’re taking care of your home, and you’re also taking care of your home away from home, when your child is in the hospital.”
While Williams operates Babies So Special, her son Caleb is in a fight for his life. Caleb will eventually need a new heart, and the home on Muriel Drive where Williams and her son currently live is not equipped with all of the fixtures needed to provide Caleb with a safe, healthy environment after the transplant.
The house is owned by Williams aunts, who so far have not allowed Williams to make modifications to the home, such as replacing the currently installed swamp cooler with a central air conditioning system.
Williams is fighting a legal battle with her aunts, and is preparing to possibly have to buy a new house in order to be able to get Caleb on the heart transplant list.
A fundraiser has been started for Caleb’s cause on the GoFundMe website, and donations can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/6EQKZW. For more information about the Babies So Special Walk-A-Thon, contact Cathy Williams at (760)-987-6072, or visit the website at www.BabiesSoSpecial.org.