Queen of Peace students raise money for Spina Bifida Family Network Print
Tuesday, May. 08, 2012 -- 4:06 PM
Madison’s Our Lady Queen of Peace School students present a check with money they raised for the Spina Bifida Family Network to Aimee Tobin and her daughter Caitlin. (Catholic Herald photo/Pam Payne)

MADISON -- Our Lady Queen of Peace School students, through their fundraising efforts, made a group of parents and their children very happy.

This school year the students held a fundraiser for the Spina Bifida Family Network (SBFN). Each grade unit participated and the unit that raised the most money was rewarded with a “Root Beer Float” party.

The students altogether collected $1,868.63 for the SBFN. During a recent assembly, a check was presented to the SBFN and accepted by Aimee Tobin whose daughter, Caitlin, also a Queen of Peace student, was born with spina bifida.

Importance of network

The SBFN was founded by a group of parents of children born with spina bifida, said Aimee. The group realized there was no support network for their families. The medical community was unable to give clear answers about the children as each case is so unique and the outcomes can be so different, so they joined together as a support group.

The group’s main goals are the education and awareness of the public and the members, support, community, and fun, Aimee said.

“Many of the kids need a chance to feel normal, despite all the medical issues they face and deal with every day,” Aimee commented. “We have family nights, sometimes at school gyms where kids in wheelchairs can move around freely with others, including their siblings. We also have a library that houses books that families can check out.”

The biggest event for the spina bifida group is a picnic held each June where families come from all over Wisconsin and Illinois. The families gather at a park that is handicap accessible where the children enjoy sports and a visit from Bucky Badger. Many doctors also attend the picnic and have a special opportunity to re-connect with the kids they cared for over the years.

Coming together

“It means quite a lot to me that the school took this on as a fundraiser. I think that Caitlin never really spoke about herself until this year and what a wonderful thing that her friends and school came together like this,” Aimee said.

Caitlin’s younger brother, in fourth grade, said it “was pretty cool” that the school picked his sister’s group as the charity this year. He proudly wore his SBFN T-shirt throughout that week.

For more information, visit the Spina Bifida Family Network Web site at www.sbfn.org


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