INDIANA — One organization is hosting special events to help kids with a severe illness enjoy their youth while they can. 

It’s called “A Kid Again”, and it offers them and their families a variety of special adventures. 

The group aims to make them inclusive so that anyone can take part. 

“A Kid Again makes all of us on a level playing field. We’re all equal, we’re all included, and everybody is just as important as the next person,” said Carolynn Sprague. 

Her son Liam has a heart condition and uses a wheelchair. She says A Kid Again allows him and his younger sister to take part in fun events that they might not be able to otherwise. 

“I do everything for him. I dress him. I change him. He can feed himself independently but still requires a lot from us,” said Sprague. 

When he was three, Carolynn’s son Liam was diagnosed with a heart condition, then had a massive stroke and later needed a heart transplant. 

His story may sound familiar. That’s because we were there the day, he got to meet his donor’s family five years ago. 

It’s been eight years since the surgery and his body is doing well, which his mom says is great but… 

“It’s not easy, He’s phenomenal and he does more every single day. But every day he gets older, it’s a reminder of what he should’ve been able to do that he can’t,” Sprague said. 

Being able to take part in the A Kid Again adventures has meant a lot to their family. 

“To just feel included, every event has been amazing. Like, there’s not one event that outshines the other, because every time we go, it’s something more amazing,” said Sprague. 

They’ve gone to Republic Airways and gotten to sit in a flight simulator, and they’ve been to some holiday parties. All for free and with COVID protocols in place. 

“It just allows you to be a part of things and feel comfortable and safe. Then, the leg work is not on us,” Carolynn said.  

“I don’t have to figure out, am I going to be able to take him here, is it a wheelchair place, all of that is done. We just arrive and have fun and it’s phenomenal.” 

Carolynn says it’s also nice that his younger sister gets to take part in the fun as well so she doesn’t feel left out. 

“She doesn’t understand that her brother is different because again we treat him normal. So when people single him out, give him something extra, or pay more attention to him, she doesn’t understand it. To her, ‘It’s just my brother and he’s normal, why does he get something, and I don’t.’” 

The program’s Indiana Chapter Executive Director Katie Pappas says it’s for families raising kids with life-threatening conditions from birth until they are 20. 

“Unfortunately for some of the families we serve, they don’t have a lot of time together. So, it’s important for A Kid Again to have fun with these families, to bring them together and make a memory,” said Pappas. 

They work to have at least one adventure a month and during the pandemic started doing adventure at home boxes with fun games and activities for families. 

If you know someone who might qualify you can sign up here