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Not long before her infant son Brentley had brain surgery for Craniosynostosis (a medical condition that hinders a baby's skull to form normally) Summer Ehmann got a care package in the mail from a mom who had just gone through a similar situation. The fuzzy socks, snacks, toiletries and toys were her way of paying it forward after she received a care package from Shelby Davidson, whose son also had survived this major skull procedure. Summer and Shelby connected and turned their passion for providing cranio families with support, information and most importantly, friendship into an organization called Cranio Care Bears.
It was from their network of "cranio moms" that Summer first heard about K.I.D.S. "I was amazed first by the list of donors who gave through K.I.D.S., and then by the reach the organization had in so many areas of the country," she said. That feeling continued after becoming a partner agency in November, 2011, with her first "incredible" donation from Stride Rite. "The shoes were wonderful, and the families who received them were so grateful to have them," she said, adding, "This type of generosity coming at a time when their lives have been so turned around is something they'll never forget."
Based in Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington, Cranio Care Bears has recently gone international. "We've sent care packages to over 20 different countries in Europe, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East," says Summer. And it's not just families who are dealing with a Craniosynostosis diagnosis who are reaching out. "We never turn down any request from parents who have children facing serious surgical procedures. The illness is different, but the feelings of helplessness are the same," she notes. With K.I.D.S. by their side, Summer and Shelby are confident they can continue to meet the needs of anyone and everyone who contacts them.