Columbus, OH – Once a localized, regional nonprofit, A Kid Again is thrilled to announce its national expansion, now serving more than 9,000 families in communities in all 50 states – an impact on 46,000 individuals.
Nationwide, more than 1.5 million children have a life-threatening condition like cancer, heart conditions, Cerebral Palsy, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and more. That means 1.5 million kids and their families face endless doctor's visits, surgeries, treatments, medical bills, and the emotional toll of chronic illness.
A Kid Again is thrilled to announce its national expansion, now serving more than 9,000 families in all 50 states.
That's why the nonprofit A Kid Again was founded, to bring hope, happiness, and healing to kids with life-threatening conditions and their families. This is done through year-round, cost-free Adventures at regional locations like amusement parks, zoos, sporting events, museums, and other family-friendly entertainment venues – making A Kid Again the only childhood disease nonprofit that focuses on group recreational therapy and support for the entire family, not just the child with the illness.
A Kid Again has experienced exponential growth. In 2019, A Kid Again was only operating in two states. When A Kid Again pivoted to offering at-home and virtual Adventures during the COVID-19 pandemic, this shift made it possible to serve families across the U.S. In fact, A Kid Again has tripled in the number of families served in the past two years alone.
Origins and Impact
A Kid Again was founded in 1995 in Columbus, Ohio by Kathy Derr, Poe Timmons and Jeffrey Damron. Each of the founders hoped that providing communal, interactive, ongoing Adventures would create a reprieve for families from the everyday difficulties posed by hospital visits, chemotherapy and other treatments.
"When I, along with Poe and Jeffrey, founded A Kid Again in 1995 as a way to remember my son, Christopher, I could not have envisioned us growing to serve families across the country," said Derr, founder of A Kid Again and current director of family engagement. "Every day, we hear from the families we serve about how being part of A Kid Again is such a bright spot in their lives, which are often consumed with worry and medical appointments. It is my vision that every family who has a child with a life-threatening condition can be part of A Kid Again."
Families who enroll with A Kid Again can take advantage of programming in a variety of ways, including:
- In-person Adventures at regional venues including amusement parks, zoos, sporting events, museums, and other family-friendly entertainment venues
- At-home Adventures-in-a-Box, which are fun kits delivered to provide families with activities to do at home or when children are in the hospital
- Streaming Adventures and Virtual Entertainment delivered through A Kid Again's private gaming network and other online platforms
The impact of a Kid Again cannot be overstated:
- 90% of families said A Kid Again Adventures have strengthened their family during difficult times
- 94% of families had an experience that was otherwise not possible
- 97% of kids had a unique experience and a chance to feel special
- 85% of our families reported enhanced feelings of hope
- 90% of kids said they feel greater acceptance by others and fear the public eye less
"A Kid Again is an amazing organization as it not only gives my warrior child a chance at 'normal' childhood experiences, it gives his siblings the chance too," said A Kid Again parent Jessica Wilhoit from the Southwest Ohio Chapter. "We often don't try certain activities due to not wanting to lose the cost when our child with the medical condition may need to leave quickly. But A Kid Again gives our family the chance to try various activities without the financial stress, so we are all able to enjoy the experiences."
Future Growth and National Expansion Celebration
"We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone of serving families in all 50 states, but our work isn't stopping here," said Carrie Maun-Smith, A Kid Again National Board Chair. "We have a vision for serving as many children with life-threatening conditions nationwide as possible, and our team, volunteers, board members and corporate partners across the country are working tirelessly to make that vision a reality."
One of these partners is Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which operates 17 amusement and water park properties across the U.S., and A Kid Again Rides and Slides Adventures in A Kid Again Chapters and markets – marking some of the most popular Adventures the organization hosts each year. Cedar Fair has provided free tickets and meals, plus has covered the cost of t-shirts and other souvenirs for the entire family.
A Kid Again is celebrating its national expansion with its inaugural Rides & Slides Adventure in the state of Texas, being held August 13-14 at Cedar Fair Schlitterbahn Waterparks in New Braunfels and Galveston.
More information about A Kid Again can be found at www.akidagain.org.
A Kid Again is a national organization with a mission to foster hope, happiness and healing for children with life-threatening health conditions and their families. The organization provides cost-free, consistent, year-round activities that create meaningful shared experiences and joy-filled memories. A Kid Again is operating in all 50 states, growing and enrolling families, and providing support resources and connections to help families cope with the challenges of raising children with difficult medical journeys. With more than 1.5 million children across the United States suffering from life-threatening conditions, A Kid Again is committed to reaching as many of these impacted families as possible. For more information about A Kid Again, please visit www.akidagain.org.