HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — One central Virginia non-profit is trying to make life easier for families whose children are diagnosed with complex illnesses.
The organization gives counseling and advice on how to navigate medical treatment and its costs to families, all through volunteers and donations.
The co-founders of better2gether RVA were dealing with illnesses within their own families and noticed there wasn’t much support for children with lesser-known illnesses.
That’s when the organization was born.
Meeting Aidan-Thomas Smith and seeing his smile, you would never know of the battles he faces every day.
“It’s been rough, but also I’ve been tough with the poking of needles,” he told 8News in an interview.
Aidan-Thomas Smith has epilepsy, dyslexia and other illnesses. Because of this, he’s considered medically complex.
“It’s hard to be in that space where everything looks like it’s okay and it’s really, you know, a very challenging situation,” his mother, Miriam Smith, said.
Smith said she knew something was wrong with her son on a trip to King’s Dominion a year ago.
“He was running back to the car and he kind of stuttered and almost collapsed. And we thought, well, that was kind of weird,” she said.
Miriam Smith has worked with the non-profit organization better2gether RVA for years, helping children with physical limitations.
But now, her family was the one needing support.
“Just to see that we had kind of gone to the other side of the fence was tough to accept,” Smith told 8News.
Better2gether RVA co-founder Stephanie Becker said the organization gives non-medical support to families.
“The challenges don’t stop when you leave the doctor’s office,” Becker said.
They help families with getting medical supplies, equipment or getting an at-home caregiver.
“These families face a tremendous amount of burden caring for a child in their own home,” Becker said.
That support lets kids like Aidan-Thomas Smith know it’s okay to ask for help.
“You always need some help, and that’s okay,” he sang.
To get involved with better2gether RVA to help out families, click here.