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Nonprofit helps families battling life-threatening sickness enjoy summer months

Nonprofit helps families battling life-threatening sickness enjoy summer months

Sarah Sole

As the temperature rises and summer gets fully underway, so too do family trips to amusement parks. 

One nonprofit organization is making sure that families raising kids battling life-threatening illnesses also get those same opportunities to make memories. 

A Kid Again has a mission to provide hope, happiness, and healing for families and their children who have life-threatening conditions, according to Central Ohio Chapter Executive Director Travis Gulling. The Central Ohio Chapter, the sponsored charity for (614) Restaurant Week, serves 1,000 families in Central Ohio and offers monthly events for children, their siblings, and their parents. Today July 14, families are slated to visit Kings Island, and Aug. 7, they’re headed to Zoombezi Bay. 

“These adventures are not just for the sick child; it’s for the entire family,” Gulling said. 

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Membership in the organization comes at no cost, Gulling said; the only stipulation is that a child’s medical provider confirms the life-threatening condition. Families can enroll via form at akidagain.org, and applications are reviewed by a medical advisory board. 

Like the name suggests, the organization’s goal is to provide families and their kids with a break from worrying about treatments. 

“They should have those moments where they can put illness in a timeout,” Gulling said. 

And since research shows that families often spend their energy on their sick child to the unintentional detriment of other siblings, A Kid Again provides its adventures for everyone, Gulling said. 

“These adventures are not just for the sick child, it’s for the entire family,” he said. 

A Kid Again began resuming in-person adventures in April, Gulling said. Prior to this, the organization had been offering take-home activities during the pandemic via the Adventure in a Box Program. 

But now that families have safely resumed in-person activities, the meetups have offered children a chance to reconnect with friends made through the program, Gulling said. 

“We just provide this opportunity to have a fun day filled with hope, happiness, and healing that families are looking for right now,” he said. 

Sometimes, families have a sick child who dies, and when that happens, the family is allowed to stay enrolled in the program for three additional years, Gulling said. Healing is important for the parents and siblings in these cases.

“That’s when they need us most,” he said. 

For more information, visit akidagain.org.

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