It all started in May 2017 when Kirby sparked a 103 temp at daycare. We rushed her to the ER and left with a diagnosis of a bilateral ear infection. Two days later we were back in the ER. Except this time we didn't get to go home. Kirby was medivac to the nearby PICU. The crazy thing is Kirby never had an abnormal well-baby checkup and never showed signs of being this sick. After 17-days in the hospital, our spunky, little 2-year-old was diagnosed with Renal Tubular Acidosis and Diabetes Insipidus. It turns out her condition is genetic and signs typically don't reveal itself until between the age of 2-3.
Kirby has profound hearing loss in both ears and her speech regressed. Our new normal involved routine weekly doctor visits 160 miles away, speech therapy, multiple feedings a day and tons of meds via her g-tube.
Prior to getting sick, Kirby and I would play dress up every morning while I applied my makeup. Headbands or turbans or any hair accessory was a requirement before leaving the house.
As a mom, it broke my heart to see her laying helpless in the hospital bed. But our morning routine didn't change. We still applied my makeup every morning and picked out her hair accessories for the day because it made her smile.
Thus, The Kirby Project was born.
Our vision is two-fold:
1) Aim to bring comfort, compassion and a smile to little girls battling life-threatening illnesses. For every hair accessory sold, one is donated to children's hospitals all across America. Our goal for The Kirby Project is to donate to every single children's hospital in the U.S within the next three years. We're united in our belief that all kids battling illnesses always appreciate smiles no matter where they are. As they battle for their lives, they want like any other child, a sense of normalcy and to laugh and live as freely as they can despite the circumstances.
2) Raise money to help support children and families with hearing loss. Learning that your child has hearing loss is often unexpected. The cost of hearing loss is expensive, even with health insurance. The cost of ear molds, routine testing, traveling to doctor visits, the batteries, oh my! It adds up quick. Some insurances don't cover hearing devices at all. We never knew any of this. This is why we expanded our scope to offer more ways to help those in need.
Want to get involved? "Join the Band" and became a distribution volunteer to help us personally deliver our hair accessories to your local children's hospital. If you're interested, send us a message and include the closest children's hospital to you. You can also contribute to one of our fundraisers or donate a percentage of your purchase total to help support the Project. The Kirby Project is currently working on achieving 501c3 status.