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Jackson’s Story

Jackson’s Story

May 25, 2012, will be forever etched into their minds. “We noticed subtle things about Jackson’s physical development—enlarged calves, didn’t walk until almost two years old, waddled when he ran—but individually, these things didn’t cause us much concern,” said Kelly, Mom to Jack. “We just chalked them up to late physical development.” It was something much more serious. The diagnosis: Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Jackson stopped walking at the age of 10, and uses a power wheelchair full time. He continues to lose arm strength and is constantly in a state of adjustment and acceptance. But, Jack is not a diagnosis. Jack is a son, a best friend, a brother, a cousin. All the things that make Jack unique—his crazy sense of humor, his overly-sensitive aversion to whispering, his ability to always know just when you need a hug—those things remain untouched by Duchenne.

Jack’s fandom for the Cleveland Cavaliers also remains untouched. On April 5, 2018, Dot’s Tots Foundation in partnership with The Ride and Flyer’s Pizza fed, transported, and treated Jack and his family to a courtside experience to the Cavs / Wizards game at Quicken Loans Arena. “Jackson is a HUGE Cleveland Cavaliers fan. He never misses a game on TV, and his bedroom is like a Cavs shrine. So imagine when our friend, Bobby Wright, surprised him and our whole family with a trip to watch the Cavs play in person, which Jack is always asking to do,” Kelly shares. “Jackson sat courtside during warmups with his big brother, and John Wall actually came over to him, fist bumped him, and offered to take a picture with Jackson! The Cavs played one heck of a game, and pulled out a win. I don’t think Jackson has screamed so much in his life.”

Thanks to the support of all Dot’s Tots Foundation donors and sponsors, Jackson enjoyed a night he will not soon forget!

Dot’s Tots Scholarship

Dot’s Tots Scholarship

Dot’s Tots Foundation is pleased to announce $10,000 in scholarship monies available for Hilliard seniors. Details are below and in this PDF:

*       All seniors from Tolles, Hilliard Darby, Davidson, and Bradley are eligible.
*       We prefer the awards go to those who align with our mission and/or have the most need.
*       Application Deadline: December 1st at 5:00pm.
*       Applications must be submitted by email: dotstotsfoundation@gmail.com
*       Awards Night: December 10th (Makoy Center in Hilliard)

For more on Dot’s Tots Foundation, please visit: www.dotstots.org.  Dot’s is a Hilliard based 501(c)3.

Bravery and Boldness – Blake’s Road to Recovery

Bravery and Boldness – Blake’s Road to Recovery

That September morning started like any other for Blake, a senior at Hilliard Darby High School. But, the day ended much differently than most.

Upon arriving at school, the Hilliard School Resource Officer, Jon, noticed Blake wasn’t looking himself. Jon encouraged Blake visit the school nurse. Within days, that fateful encounter with a concerned safety officer led to Blake’s leukemia diagnosis at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Dot’s Tots Foundation, a Hilliard, Ohio based 501(c)3 charity learned of Blake’s story through local news, but his story would travel across the country. Blake could not attend homecoming as he began his chemotherapy treatments, so friends brought homecoming to him. That evening’s celebration went viral as seen in this Inside Edition montage.

On September 30th at its annual Restaurant Tour and Tasting event, Dot’s Tots volunteers and donors amassed $5,000 in funds to help support the Mounts family. Blake has a tough road ahead, but our prayers and finances might make the road to recovery a bit less cumbersome.

A Mom’s Love; Kidney Donor and a Real-Life Super Hero!

A Mom’s Love; Kidney Donor and a Real-Life Super Hero!

Meet Max, your average 3-year-old little boy. He loves superheroes like Captain America and dump trucks. In late October 2015, Max became quite ill and was hospitalized at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for roughly two months. It was learned that his kidneys had stopped functioning properly, requiring regular hemodialysis (now on peritoneal dialysis). Eventually, the family was told, Max would need a kidney transplant.

Amazingly, Max’s mother is a match and he will receive a transplant at Nationwide Children’s Hospital on December 7th, 2016. As for now, Mighty Max continues to inspire everyone he comes in contact with – friends, family, neighbors, nurses, and strangers alike!

Dot’s Tots Foundation is blessed to be able to support this amazing family and their courageous Super Hero on a journey to good health. Through lawn care services and providing meals/groceries to the family, Dot’s Tots has received far more than it has given.

We’re rooting for you, Max (and Mommy)!

Dot’s Tots Foundation toy drive update

Dot’s Tots Foundation toy drive update

On June 12, 2016, the Board Members of Dots Tots Foundation and their children converged on Toys R’ Us in Dublin, Ohio for an evening of shopping.  On the list were toys, games, and therapy aides for patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  Examples included:

Dot's Tots Toy DriveArt Therapy Program

  • Yarn
  • Glitter Glue
  • Canvases
  • Crayons
  • Coloring Books

 

Adolescent and Young Adult Program

  • Writing Journals
  • Xbox Games
  • Jewelry Making Kits
  • Rubiks’ Cubes
  • Advanced Lego Kits 

 

Music Therapy Program Wish List

  • I-Tunes Gift Cards
  • Earbuds
  • Small Electronic Keyboards
  • Toy Musical Instruments
  • Musical Mobiles without Cloth Parts

 

Recreation Therapy

  • Stress Balls
  • Wooden Puzzles
  • Duplo Blocks
  • Play-Doh and Accessories
  • Matchbox Cars

 

On July 7, 2016, Nationwide Children’s RN and Dot’s Tots Foundation Board Member, Libby Wenning, and Board Chairman, Andy Warnock, delivered $1,976.64 worth of support to the hospital.  Connie Hieatt, Community Events Coordinator for Hematology and Oncology accepted the goods on behalf of the Children’s Hospital Fund.  Thank you to all of the supporters of Dot’s Tots Foundation in making an impact on our youth who are in desperate need of joy and hope.

Nationwide Children's

A Mother’s Unconditional Love

A Mother’s Unconditional Love

Below is Carrie’s story in her own words.  Carrie lives in Marysville, Ohio with her parents, forced to move back in with them to help care for her children.  Having abandoned any aspirations of a career years ago, she works part-time at Bath and Body Works for a few dollars and some much deserved sanity!  Carrie is a single mom.  It is Dot’s Tots mission to help Carrie raise $25,000 to make her life – and her boys’ lives – better.  Won’t you help?

Donate here: https://dotstots.org/donate/

 

Dot's Tots Carrie's StoryLandon and Logan are the sweetest, most lovable, affectionate, little 5-year-old twins. One smile and they will steal your heart.  At first glance, they appear just like any other rambunctious little boys, but their struggles are far greater than you can imagine.  

Logan has a rare congenital birth defect called Amniotic Band Syndrome; his right arm was banded and never fully developed before he was born, so his arm is amputated from just below the elbow.  Furthermore, in 2013, the boys were diagnosed with severe Autism. They not only have difficulty following simple instructions and speaking, they have no sense of danger and are prone to wandering, bolting, and eloping. They will bolt into the street and wander away and not think twice about it. They are brilliant escape artists. There are two of them and only one of me. There is hardly a moment that goes by that I’m not stopping them from doing something that could cause them serious injury. Because of this, it is absolutely imperative Landon and Logan have a service dog. A trained, certified service dog will not only prevent them from wandering and bolting, but can also aid in search and rescue if, God forbid, it is ever necessary, as well as rescue from a drowning. A service dog will also help with socialization and behavior modification. With a service dog, we can finally go to parks and restaurants and stores. The boys could finally attend their friends’ birthday parties and many other things other children get to do that they’ve missed out on for many years. I could go to bed knowing they won’t find a way to leave the house in the middle of the night. This fear is very real and it consumes every moment of every day. 

We have chosen Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers to provide an Autism Service dog. The cost is $25,000. This not only covers the cost of the dog and initial training, but also years of follow up training and recertification. They will be with us every step of the way in making sure our dog is trained to meet their needs today and for years to come as the boys’ needs change. Accomplishing this goal will not only be life changing for the twins, it could be lifesaving.

Until There’s A Cure…There’s A Dog is the Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers’ motto.  With hundreds of lives changed and over a decade of dedicated work, SDWR is a leader service dog organization. SDWR believes that through their uniquely trained service dogs, the lives of those with invisible disabilities can be improved. At SDWR, service dogs include Diabetic Alert Dogs, Autism Service Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and PTSD Service Dogs. Each type of service dog is hand raised by SDWR staff and volunteers to mold it into a life-saving tool for each family in need. 

 

#SullyStrong

#SullyStrong

On Friday, August 29th, the Dots Tots Foundation Board of Directors unanimously voted to support a 3 ½ year old boy named, Sully, in his fight with Leukemia. Below is his story as shared by his Mom, Megan. The family lives in Delaware, Ohio.

#SullyStrong

May 19th, 2014. Just writing this date makes me shudder. Every day, 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer. We were one of those families on that sunny day in May.

What felt like a completely normal day, went south and quickly. Sully went into to our pediatrician at 1:30pm in the afternoon to check for symptoms which were align with the mumps-which is what he was diagnosed with and sent home to “work through”. We made arrangements with grandparents and our daycare provider for the days leading up to the long holiday weekend.

Then at 9:59pm, on our way to bed, our pediatrician called and said “the pathologist has confirmed and Sullivan’s labs and elevated white blood cells confirm… he has leukemia”. We were told to immediately come to Children’s and go through the ER.

It felt like someone kicked us in the gut-a bad dream that nearly four months later, we cannot wake up from. 36 hours after receiving that call, we began chemo.

Sullivan, 3 ½ year old and a natural born superhero and worlds best big brother, is battling ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Hyperdiploid). He is in month four of a 3 ½ year treatment plan. He is seen at Children’s at least one time a week, with the next 10 weeks spent inpatient 3-4 days every other week [that’s 30-40 nights in a hospital bed!]. We are back & forth and juggling work, all the while, keeping our lives as normal as possible for our baby girl, Harper. Over the next three years, we will pay an extra $10,000 annually between deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions, gas and meals.

The medical costs, additional living and working expenses are [adding] up, but we move forward because that’s what you do-keep things going. It’s exhausting, but if somehow it keeps us the way he was before he was sick, it’s worth it.

We hope we are able to put a face with a growing epidemic so families down the road can have a cure-and fast!

#TeamSkylor – A Battle against Brain Cancer

#TeamSkylor – A Battle against Brain Cancer

This year, approximately 4,300 children under the age of 20 will receive a brain tumor diagnosis, of which Astrocytoma is one of the three most common types. In February, 2014, one area teenager learned of his diagnosis. But, Skylor wasn’t going to let his malignant Grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma tumor get the best of him. Because of the location of the tumor between the right and left ventricles of the brain, removal by surgery is too risky. So, Skylor underwent regular radiation and chemotherapy in recent months and will continue to visit Nationwide Children’s Hospital bi-weekly to track his progress. But, he is determined to beat this cancer!

Dot’s Tots Foundation learned of Skylor’s diagnosis and jumped into action. Through solicitation of donors and fundraising events, Dot’s Tots has been able to contribute nearly $30,000 to Skylor’s family to offset medical expenses, replace lost wages, and seed his college fund. The Foundation was also able to make for a special Sweet 16 birthday surprise when Skylor received a video message from his favorite musician, Tyler Joseph of 21 Pilots.

Skylor is an inspiration to many. And, we at the Dot’s Tots Foundation are blessed to be part of his journey. Read more →