PLYMOUTH – 10-year-old Maci Wolfe has collected 250 donated blankets for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, hoping to provide comfort for children going through MRI scans like she does for her juvenile arthritis.
Lisa Wolfe, Maci Wolfe’s mother who is a Plymouth resident, said after finding comfort from blankets given to her for a series of recent MRI scans, Maci Wolfe was concerned that she had received too many blankets and other kids wouldn’t have them.
“She said, ‘I hope I didn’t take too many blankets, we should restock them,’” Lisa Wolfe said.
Lisa Wolfe helped Maci create an Amazon wish list and Lisa Wolfe posted the link on Facebook at 8 p.m. six days ago. She was hoping that by the time her daughter woke up they would have collected 10 blankets. Instead, she woke up to find 63 had been donated. Six days later, that number had grown to 250.
Lisa Wolfe said the response has been “overwhelming and mind-blowing.”
“Maci is thriving off of this response,” Lisa Wolfe said. “Every couple of hours she is asking to check the total. She has also asked if we have too many girls’ blankets and if we need more for boys or teens. She’s got a heart of gold.”
Wolfe said she is grateful for the community for the helping her daughter with the collection.
“When you’re the mom of a kid with a chronic, lifetime diagnosis, people are always asking how to help,” she said. “As another arthritis mom told me, my daughter pointed out a need. Now, people are eager to fill that need.”
Maci Wolfe was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis after her second birthday.
“It’s an auto-immune disease where the body attacks its own joints,” Lisa Wolfe said. “We have been going quarterly to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to get her knees drained or to give her steroid injections. The disease ebbs and flows. Some months it is more active than others and this last couple months was more frequent. Last February we caught some damage in her jaw and she went to get an MRI. It’s a half-day for the whole process and it causes her significant anxiety. They gave her a blanket to calm down and when she came back this February they set up the room with cozy lights and music to make it less scary and reduce her anxiety.”
After completing the MRI for Maci Wolfe’s jaw, the doctors found a brain lesion and requested Maci Wolfe return two weeks later for a repeat MRI. Lisa Wolfe said while her daughter was “devastated,” upon completing the MRI, her first thoughts after getting out were about getting blankets for other children going through similar experiences.
“She’s 10 years old and despite facing a new possible diagnosis that she shouldn’t be dealing with, her first thought was how to make this process better for the next kid,” Lisa Wolfe said. “It makes me really proud as a mother.”
Lisa Wolfe and her family are no strangers to fundraising. This will be the 8th year they will participate in the Walk to Cure Arthritis. Over the years, the family has raised more than $35,000 for arthritis research.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.