While most kids are beginning to draft their wish lists for Santa, there are children like Isabella who are critically ill during the holiday season.
The Casey Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was created to give Isabella — who has been receiving chemotherapy for two years — and other children battling an illness a reason to smile through uncertain times.
Casey Baynes is the CEO of the foundation.
“I was in the hospital working for a little boy, who wanted to be a racecar driver. It was so exciting to see the driver come in his jumpsuit, the hood of his car, so much hoopla,” Baynes said. “In the midst of all that I hear a little boy off to the side who was also sick say, ‘I wish I had cancer. Maybe, I would get cool stuff too.’ And that’s when I became obsessed, obsessed with helping all critically ill children,” Baynes said.
The foundation offers families with critically ill children expense-free trips and activities.
Casey Cares recently held an event with Jaguars players for families at the Main Event, and even Isabella attended.
“By the size of her smile, you would have never known that she didn’t know about her future,” Baynes said.
The Casey Care Foundation offers services in several cities and states across the country. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating, visit caseycares.org