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Community Coming Together to Make a Difference

Updated on March 7, 2014
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Samantha is a mom of 4 who loves crafting, DIY home improvements, and interior design.

Meet Cason Griffith

Cason Griffith is a fun and happy-go-lucky 4 year old who attends pre-school at a local Church. At first glance you can see that he is not like all the other children his age due to his red inflamed skin and sometimes open sores on his hands that are caused by his Eczema. He was diagnosed as an infant and the condition has only escalated by his long list of allergies. Cason is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, and wheat (just to name a few); not to mention his environmental allergies. He has seen allergists, dermatologists, and even sought all-natural remedies. His nightly bed time routine includes a bath with all-natural soup, then he must be completely dried off in order to apply the mass amounts of creams and lotions in order to prevent his skin from drying out. This process alone takes almost an hour. He wakes up almost nightly crying because of the itching and wakes with open sores from scratching in his sleep. His parents were becoming exhausted and frustrated at the lack of progress his medications were having on him. They were told by one of their many specialists of a program in Denver, Colorado at National Jewish Hospital that specializes in Eczema.


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Help for Cason

The program with National Jewish Hospital was something that was an out-of-the box kind of an idea seeing as how the family lives 1500 miles from the facility. The thought was placed on the back burner due to the family's pending arrival of their new baby; Oliver. When Oliver was born he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and a heart defect that required a lot of special attention and surgery to repair his heart defect. Once the family had dealt with all of Oliver's immediate needs the attention was turned back to the program in Denver. Kelly; Cason's mother, made the call for more information on the Eczema program and found that it can be quite costly due to it being out of network with their health insurance. The program could cost between $10,000 and $20,000 not including the travel expenses. During the 2 week program the hospital spends that time clearing up Cason's skin and then performing numerous tests to try to find the exact cause of all of his flare-ups. This sounded like a fantastic option but the next hurdle was how they would afford it.

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Go Fund Me

Every parents fear is that their child will have something wrong with them but it's a whole new ball game when you're talking about a treatment plan that could escalate to over $20,000. Options were being passed around by family members when Cason's Aunt came up with the idea of creating a Go Fund Me account. Everyone figured that they might get enough to cover their travel expenses but they would still be responsible for the medical expenses and the $3000 deposit they were required to pay before they could even schedule the trip. The account was created on a Saturday night and was shared throughout social media sites. By Monday morning they had surpassed $2000. Cason's parents were in awe and utter disbelief at the out-powering the community was showing for their son. Within a week the account had raised enough for their deposit and they were able to schedule the appointment for mid May. Due to the amount of donations they had received in such a short period of time they caught the attention of the public relations department and were able to get featured in an article in Atlanta Magazine. At this point they were no longer just trying to receive donations to help fund their pending medical bills but they were educating the community about Eczema and Food Allergies. Everyone's response to Eczema is "Oh, I'm sure they'll grow out of it" or "It's just a rash. How bad could it be?". Cason's case is not a typical Eczema case, his Eczema is exacerbated by his food and environmental allergies. His family has had to make a lot of changes in order to keep his skin condition at bay; they've had to move the family dog to Grandma's house, they've switched to all-natural cleaning products and soaps, and changed his diet as much as possible. The food costs for Cason's allergy friendly food and special order flours to make his bread are astronomical. Almost all of Cason's food has to be made from scratch. Although the market for allergy friendly foods has expanded in the last several years most of them have not reached the point of Cason's needs. The family is hoping for some resolution after their trip to Denver this summer and one day that there may be a cure for Eczema and food allergies.

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