How far would you go to support your child? A Minnesota mother has shattered the glass ceiling in order to help her son live his life without pain.
Sarah Olson’s son, Levi, was born with Spina Bifida and at only 8 days old, he received spine surgery. Recovery seemed to be going well until doctors discovered he had a Neurogenic bladder and bowel (bladder and bowel dysfunction) at 5 months old.
After undergoing 15 procedures, Levi’s only solution was to use a foley catheter. This type of catheter causes severe bladder spasms that equate to labor pain. When Levi’s doctor informed Sarah that this was his only option, an idea sparked.
“When I heard the words “what he needs doesn’t exist”, it wasn’t a question of if I was going to come up with something to help my boy,” Sarah explained. “It was a matter of how fast I could get it done.”
Sarah spent the following months teaching herself computer-aided-design (CAD) on YouTube and worked with a friend who had access to a 3D printer to invent a new catheter. She brought a prototype to Levi’s doctor and it astonishingly worked and left him pain free without bladder spasms.
Now that this new catheter has worked for her son, Sarah is on a mission to help other children and adults with birth defects who struggle with pain from a foley catheter. To accomplish this, she turned to crowdfunding with YouCaring.
“I chose YouCaring because I found that it aligned with my vision/mission more than any other crowdfunding site I had found.” Sarah said. “I felt the company cared about people and efforts to help people more than just products and money.”
Since it’s launch, Sarah’s LECS fundraiser has raised almost $7,000 with the help of generous family, friends, and even strangers.
“It’s said that it takes a village and it truly does to accomplish something like what I’m trying to accomplish.” Sarah explained. “To watch donations come in, some from people I don’t know, is so humbling to me. It’s love in action.”
Through her fundraiser and Facebook page, Sarah has been able to reach a new audience and grow her community of people wanting to get involved.
“I love to hear all the stories of people who are looking for something different and ready for what my device offers.” she said. I love to have the opportunity to bring awareness to Spina Bifida and all that goes with it.”
To be able to help others with birth defects, Sarah still needs to reach her goal of $25,000. Her journey has been remarkable so far and she is grateful to meet and work with the amazing people she’s met along the way.
“Throughout this whole process, I’ve worked very hard to find people and companies to work with that care about people, that have integrity, and are honest, reputable companies.” Sarah explained. “YouCaring has been one of those companies for me.”
To make a difference in the life of someone with a birth defect, launch a free fundraiser and check out our medical crowdfunding guide for best practices. Start crowdfunding for birth defects and make an impact today.