“I definitely will always have my new ‘ohana, “the intentional ones” in my heart and on my mind! They are amazing, strong people who have helped to make me strong in ways I’ve never been.” – Kael’s Dad
The Alumni Network is a way to keep previous retreat participants connected with one another, with other cohorts of parents, and support them in their endeavors to share their joy, happiness, and hope with others.
Our parents want to stay connected. After spending a week together crying and laughing, grieving and healing each cohort of parents develops deep bonds. There is also a sense of camaraderie among the diverse cohorts of ‘Ohana Oasis parents. We keep connected through shared communications, annual gatherings around a fundraising event, and planning is already underway for a five year reunion on Kaua’i open to all retreat participants.
Alumni are a diverse, dynamic and loving group of people. They are inspiring in the ways they choose to give back in their community and to our growing ‘Ohana Oasis family. They give back to ‘Ohana Oasis in a variety of ways including hosting fundraising events, supporting one another and potential retreat parents.
Some of our parents also have their own vehicles and ways they have chosen to reach others and they include:
Linked with Liam – The Linked with Liam Foundation was founded by Christian and Carli Webb in January 2014 to honor the life of their son, Liam Webb, who passed away after a courageous battle with brain cancer on November 23, 2013. He was just 4 years old. The Linked with Liam Foundation is dedicated to raising money for these families. It is our MISSION to improve the lives of children with cancer and their families with much needed support in the battle against their life threatening illness. We help with expenses that these families encounter when they are forced to put their lives on hold to be with their children. We know that family support can be just as important to recovery as medicine.
Lila’s “Eternal Garden” Tree for The Festival of Trees Utah -“Every holiday season we attend the festival of trees, a wonderful fundraiser benefiting Primary Children’s Hospital. We always knew we would do a tree in Lila’s honor and 2016 is the year! We did “an eternal garden” theme. When Lila was first diagnosed I really went through my anger stage. I was so mad that she would never walk, talk or have the same experiences as other kids. One day I was walking through a garden and saw a large group of tulips, my favorite flower, they were pink except for one lone yellow tulip. It hit me then and there that while Lila was different than the other kids she was just as beautiful, just as special and she would bring our family just as much joy. We are building a garden with a small patch of tulips, and lots of flowers. When I picture my daughter now she is always in a gorgeous garden surrounded by blooms that will never fade. We are so excited to be doing this for our girl and as I have been spending lots of hours on it I have really felt like it has been a love letter of sorts to my girl. It will be hard to sell the tree but we are grateful that the funds will benefit lots of other families like us that were constantly at the hospital.” – Kristi Kimball
Ashley Sullenger’s Blog – Ashley shares candidly about her family of now seven with her daughter Preslee watching over them in heaven. Preslee passed away in 2010, due to an accidental drowning. A year later they were blessed with their son Ledger. In 2013 they were shocked to learn Cruiz and Cannon (twin boys) were on the way. And now they have a baby girl, Oaklee in the home once again! She invites you to cry along with them as she shares her thoughts on grief, laugh as they attempt to raise 3 boys two years apart and their new baby girl.
Rushworth’s Blanket Drive – Layne and Brigette hold a blanket and stuffed animal drive from January 1- April 10th of year in honor of their son Kael. On April 12th, Kael’s birthday, all of the blankets and animals are delivered to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City Rush. “We figure if he were here we would be spending money on his birthday gifts so instead we donate to the hospital for children in need. The hospital can get so cold at times and can be so scary; we want to make sure that no child goes cold or uncovered.” Brigette also goes on to say, “Kael passed away at 5 months old from a neuromuscular condition. In his short 5 months he lived, Kael spent most of them in the NICU/PICU at Primary Childrens Hospital in Salt Lake City Rush. They took such great care of him there and did all that they could to help him stay comfortable and not in pain. They also did all that they could to help us as a family. This hospital serves so many states and so many children who are in emergency situations these items come in handy each and every day.”
If you would like to help donate they are ever so grateful. Please contact Brigette at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get you info on where to ship your items. Thank you for helping them make these sick kiddo’s days a little brighter and remembering and honoring Kael in the process. Thanks you and Mahalo, they are ever so grateful for all donations.