SEATTLE -- A local mom is looking to partner with the business community to help children across the world suffering from a rare birth defect.
When Shelby Davidson's son Anthony was just 4 months old he was diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a premature fusing of the scull that would prevent his brain from developing normally. Initially Davidson had no one to turn to. Her friends and family had no experience with craniosynostosis, and no one she knew could relate to the dramatic skull-shaping surgery her son had when he was just 8 months old.
"I went through it by myself," Davidson said. "None of my friends had heard of craniosynostosis, so I didn't have anyone to lean on. It was overwhelming."
Today, Davidson is helping other families of children with craniosynostosis by sending them care packages, but she needs support from local businesses to keep the project going.
Davidson first began reaching out to other parents whose children had craniosynostosis as her son was recovering. She sat with dozens of families while their babies were in surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital
"I wish I'd had someone that had gone through the surgery to talk to," she said.
But, Davidson wanted to reach families outside of Seattle; so she started sending out care packages filled with useful and heartfelt items.
"I wanted them to feel like somebody who had been there before was thinking of them and praying for them," she said.
Davidson partnered with a Colorado mother and started the non-profit Cranio Care Bears in 2011. Since then they have delivered more than 1,000 care packages to families around the world.
One of the most appreciated items in the Cranio Care Bears packages are pajamas that don't have to be pulled over the head for baby's who have recently had surgery. So, Davidson has organized a national PJ drive. Supporters in 30 states will be collecting pajamas for Cranio Care Bears throughout September, which is also Craniofacial Awareness Month.
Unfortunately, Davidson has not been able to find a Seattle business to host a pajama drive, or a local company to donate PJs.
"It's hard to be a small non-profit," she said. "We hope to provide pajamas to every family in need."
Any businesses interested in supporting Cranio Care Bears can contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.