By Jill Fox
After multiple trips to children’s hospitals to visit her younger brother, Parkland resident Bailey Sheridan uses that experience to bring a little more courage to other young patients.
Bailey, 11, created ‘Bailey’s Brave Buddies,’ a community service project collecting LEGO sets for hospitalized children.
Her brother Madden, 8, has Jeunes Syndrome and is dependent on a trach and ventilator. Jeunes syndrome is a rare inherited disorder that primarily affects the bones. Children born with it have a small chest and ribcage and may have life-threatening breathing problems because there isn’t enough room in the chest for the lungs to develop properly or expand fully during breathing.
An estimated 1 in 100,000 to 130,000 babies are born with Jeune syndrome.
Since Madden was born, he has received treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia twice a year for surgeries that expand his chest wall and help his lungs grow.
Bailey said Madden always gets a LEGO set as a “brave” present after an IV or a shot to make him feel better and focus his mind on something else. Eight years later, Madden has over 40 sets, and Bailey wants to give to more children.
“I have always done it because of my brother and because I love giving,” she said.
Her first goal was to donate 25 LEGO sets to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and she met it in just one day. Next, she collected 25 for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital of Miami.
Bailey has set her sights on donating to every children’s hospital in Florida, but before that, she plans to collect 25 sets for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which she will bring to Madden’s next surgery March 25.
“This is what Madden loves to do, and I think other kids will love it too,” said Bailey.
To help, send LEGO sets directly through Amazon, or bring new LEGO sets to a local children’s hospital, post a photo with the location, and tag Bailey’s Brave Buddies on Instagram or Facebook. Hospitals can only accept new LEGO sets.
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