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The Lookout | September 23, 2018

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Pillow event helps sick children

Pillow event helps sick children
The Lookout

By Aaron Emerson
Editor in Chief

LCC held an event on Saturday, Nov. 12 that will make a difference in hospitalized children’s lives for quite some time.

In collaboration with the Olivia Kay Foundation, the college held “Pillows for a Purpose,” an event to make positioning pillows for sick children.

The Olivia Kay Foundation was started by its namesake’s (Olivia Kay) parents, Chad and Lisa Borodychuk. Olivia was diagnosed with the rare disease, Alexander Disease Leukodystrphy (AXD), at age 2.

AXD destroys myelin, a mixture of proteins and phospholipids, which is supposed to protect nerves in the brain to allow individuals to function properly.

Lisa started sewing positioning pillows for Olivia to help support her while lying in hospital beds. When they started bringing pillows in for Olivia, hospital officials thought they could help other patients. That was the birth of the foundation.

“When our daughter was admitted, they saw we were using these pillows and were really excited they could utilize them in some way,” Lisa Borodychuk said. “We decided to start donating our pillows to local hospitals, and then we wanted to branch out to serve all hospitals in Michigan.”

The Olivia Kay Foundation now donates positioning pillows to 13 hospitals in Michigan and one hospital in Philadelphia. Chad and Lisa make the pillows out of their home and distribute them to each hospital, usually around 100 at a time.

“We are stuffing them, sewing them, tagging them and bagging them right at our house,” Borodychuk said.

Thanks to LCC, though, the foundation was able to get a lot of help. “Pillows for a Purpose” drew over 150 volunteers, ranging from LCC students, staff and faculty to community members. Over 900 pillows were sewn and donated.

“To get the community involved so they can see how just something as simple as a pillow can benefit a child in the hospital is amazing,” Borodychuk said.

One LCC student, K-Moon Lee, said being able to help out at the event was a surreal experience.

“Currently, I’m a nursing student and work at a pediatric facility,” Lee said. “I see a lot of kids. They’re sick and going through hard times.

“I think it’s a good time to be helpful. A pillow might not mean much to us, but to them it could mean everything.”

For more information on the Olivia Kay Foundation, visit www.oliviakayfoundation.org/

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