Jacksonville charity makes homemade wigs for children with life-threatening illnesses
A charity called “Halo Keepers” is turning wishes for children into a reality. Dozens of volunteers are intertwining the spirit of love into handmade wigs for kids going through the unimaginable. These philanthropists made a special personal delivery to surprise a 4-year- old with a one-of- a-kind wig at her home. Addison Tomberlin is battling an aggressive form of cancer in her blood cells, which is resistant to standard chemotherapy treatments.
A teacher grants fifth-grader's ultimate dream who is battling cancer
An elementary school boy's dreams have come true through the efforts of his teacher. Ben Davis’ fifth-grade instructor spent hours coordinating a surprise party for this 10-year- old who is battling an aggressive form of cancer. All of Ben’s classmates helped keep the anticipation going by acting like this was a typical school day. Ben was surprised with a back to school holiday party with well-known football stars.
A man inspired to take a leap of faith and change his life
A man gave up his six-figure salary to work for free, living out a dream. For two years, Ron Wudarczyk has been volunteering at the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary where he provides extraordinary care to these animals. After seeing a newspaper ad, Ron felt compelled to make a change. He sold everything he owned, only keeping what fit in his truck, to serve as a volunteer at a big cat sanctuary in Jacksonville to assist in providing a safe haven for these impressive animals.
Wolfson Children's Hospital's advanced ICU mobile unit saving children's lives
An infant was saved by the quick actions of paramedics who work on a specialized kids’ mobile intensive care unit. Maddy Lentz was rushed to Wolfson Children's Hospital in the Kids Kare Mobile ICU, an advanced mobile vehicle that brings the ER and the ICU to patients.
Patients suffering from mental illnesses are opting for equine assisted psychotherapy
Horses are helping people suffering from eating disorders. This form of psychotherapy teaches patients to learn about themselves by participating in activities with horses, process their feelings and behaviors. It’s a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and an equine specialist working with their clients and horses to address treatment goals.
Infant diagnosed with extremely rare terminal illness
Baby Nathan's illness had doctors scrambling for answers for months. He was having seizures, crying most of the day and night. Sometimes he’d stop moving – even stop breathing. A doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital picked up on a unique physical characteristic – Nathan’s hair. It turns out his coarse, shiny hair that seems to spindle is a symptom of a rare illness called Menkes Disease that mainly affects boys. The diagnosis was crushing; there is no cure for Menkes Disease.
Electrical brain stimulation procedure gives patients a second chance at life
Two men were brought together by a lifesaving procedure. Neurosurgeons performed a procedure called deep brain stimulation, where they implanted a thin wire in the brain to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas. This device resembles a cardiac pacemaker and it gave these men a second chance at life.
Local nurse overcomes her brain tumor
For Elizabeth Wiard, her headaches persisted into migraines, and she was starting to lose her vision and was having a hard time remembering her coworkers. Wiard learned she had a mass putting pressure on the brain, causing her entire brain to shift. A neurosurgeon had to cut into her brain to fully remove the mass. She went from nurse to patient and then back to nurse, and now, she has a closer relationship with her patients.
A woman raising money to get best friend life-saving treatment
A local woman is racing to save her best friend’s life. Ranyna Clevinger is slowly dying from multiple sclerosis. This disease started killing Clevinger’s hope for a future until a friend, Louise Byrd, stepped in. Byrd started a fundraising page to raise money for a stem cell transplant through Stem Cells of America. Clevinger’s friends say they’ll do everything possible to help her get this life-changing procedure.