Who We Help

Thanks to the generous donations and support of our donors, sponsors, friends and family, the Courage for Carina Foundation has been able to help many children and families in their time of need over the past five years.  The bios below are just a small sample of the stories of Courage that we are blessed to be able to help write in some small way.

Henry Cartwright

Henry is a happy, playful little guy, just under 2 years old.  He was diagnosed before birth with arthrogryposis, a rare limb and joint disorder.  Arthrogryposis causes arms and legs to be tighter to the body when growing in the womb which leads to muscles not forming properly.  He also had a difficult time breathing after birth and was given a tracheostomy.  After a stay in the NICU, Henry has been back in the hospital for several surgeries to help his joints and muscles.  He also is followed by several different specialists which means lots of trips to the hospital for appointments.  His family is so appreciative of the support they have received from the Courage for Carina Gift Card Fund.  Despite his medical complexity, Henry can’t be stopped from enjoying life with his parents and four older siblings, Maddie, Ava, Nora, and Jack.

Carter Walker

Meet Carter.  He is just shy of a year old and lives with his mom and half-brothers.  Carter came into the world a little early with more than his share of problems.  Carter has a seizure disorder that has proven difficult to control.  He also has some challenges with some neurological imparments.  Carter keeps his family busy with appointments with specialists several times a month.  The Palliative Care team has helped support the family by assisting them with care coordination.  They also have been thankful for the support of the Courage for Carina Gift Card Fund, helping provide gas cards and parking assistance.

Becket Knoyer


Say “Hi” to Becket! Becket is an awesome 3 year old boy that had a difficult birth and his brain did not get the required oxygen.  Becket now has some complications including seizures, muscle tone issues and is fed a special diet via a tube in his belly.  Despite these complications Becket is a rockstar! According to his Mom “He’s a fun filled boy with a smile that would melt the heart of the devil himself. Becket loves to be outside, where the action is. Year round, Becket loves all the activities of all the seasons. Sledding, hiking, swimming, and playing in the leaves. Oh, the beach…. Becket LOVES the beach and demolishing sand castles built by his brother.  Becket loves music of all genres, and movies, especially musicals. Becket LOVES his big brother Dashell, especially when they are able to play games together. Becket’s guilty pleasure is coffee. Don’t tell anyone, but he gets a taste every now and again.”  Becket comes to the hospital every week for multiple medical and therapy appointments. Unfortunately, Becket has also spent his fair share of time in the hospital for a variety of reasons.  The Courage for Carina Gift Card Fund has helped provide cafeteria vouchers and parking passes to Becket and his family.

CJ Wood


CJ is a 4 year old young man with multiple complex issues which have resulted in him needing a tracheostomy and use of a ventilator to breathe. CJ requires care from a number of specialists and therefore travels to and from Akron Children’s Hospital frequently. CJ is an outgoing, playful, active boy who is learning to do things with the help of therapies, his medical team and generous supporters just like you.  His family has benefited from the Courage for Carina Gift Card Fund, which help to ease the financial strains that are placed on families of children with complex needs.

Jack Cleavenger


Born premature, Jack was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth and went straight to the Special Care Nursery at SUMMA Akron City Hospital. A few days later, he started going into heart failure and was diagnosed with a heart defect, requiring open heart surgery. He had some feeding issues, which ended up with Jack needing a feeding tube, and he had some complications from the open heart surgery, which required oxygen and special heart medications, but Jack is doing wonderfully now! We are so thankful for the Palliative Care Team at Akron Children’s Hospital and for the generous donations given to us, including gift cards and parking vouchers. The parking vouchers came in handy, especially when we got discharged and had to come see multiple specialists! Jack was inpatient in the hospital for 120 days of his first year of life, but Jack just turned 1 year old in April, and he is a tough little guy! We are so blessed to have him in our lives!

Emily Loughley

Emily is a 12 year old beautiful young lady with congenital hypotonia. She has overcome many obstacles in her life and exceeded the expectations of many healthcare providers. Emily attends school in Aurora and is currently in the seventh grade. She receives therapies on a regular basis and continues to work hard on overcoming any difficulties that she faces. Palliative care provides supportive for Emily and her family as they navigate the healthcare arena.  They are thankful for the assistance from Palliative Care and the Courage for Carina Gift Card Fund.

Michael Snyder


Michael is an ornery 8 year old boy whose smile lights up a room. He requires the use of a ventilator to breath, a feeding tube for nutrition and is completely dependent upon others for all of his care. His family receives assistance in the form of private duty nursing approximately 12 hours per day. They rely on palliative care to help coordinate his care and multiple medical needs. Michael’s family is always grateful when they receive cafeteria vouchers, gas cards, or parking passes from the Courage for Carina Gift Card Fund to assist them in the care of this delightful young man.

Emani Johnson


Meet Emani, a 6 year old girl.  Emani was born at 31 weeks with several complications.  After a lengthy stay in the NICU, Emani went home with her father.  Emani has complex seizures, movement issues and developmental delays. Emani is truly her Daddy’s girl with a smile that lights up the room.  Emani and her father became involved with Palliative Care very early in Emani’s life for family support.  The Courage for Carina Gift Card Fund has helped Emani and father by providing them with gas cards, hospital parking passes and cafeteria vouchers to aid in the cost associated with multiple therapy and medical appointments.


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Posted on: May 2, 2014


The Courage for Carina Foundation was a mere thought following the death of our only child. This little girl touched the lives of so many during her short life that we knew in some fashion that her legacy needed to be carried on. Joe and I were truly inspired by the Hospice and Palliative Care Team of Akron Children’s Hospital.…

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