OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Dozens of golfers teed it up for a good cause Tuesday night at Overland Park’s Top Golf.
But in a nearby bay, 8-year-old Jonah Seacreas was just happy to make contact and be standing upright.
Seacreas was diagnosed with Wolf Hirschorn syndrome as an infant. It’s a rare chromosomal disorder that results in developmental delays and low muscle tone.
One of the family’s most pressing medical needs was orthotics to help strengthen and support his ankles so he could learn to walk properly. Like most durable medical equipment, the $2,000 cost was not covered by insurance.
“Who has $2,000 sitting around for a medical device?” Jonah’s mother Melissa Seacreas said.
Just like any child and shoes, he grew out of them quickly.
“He’s a big kid, so it was about once or twice a year we had to get a new pair because his feet were growing so fast,” Seacreas said.
The prosthetic company that makes the orthotics and the $350 inserts he now uses told the family to reach out to United Health Care’s Children’s Foundation.
“There’s families that are going through tough times. They’ve got a kid with something they are struggling to make sure that they have not just the medical treatments their child needs, but now they’ve got to figure out how to pay for it,” said Michael Margherio, United Health Care’s VP of communications.
The organization has donated $45 million to families nationwide to help children with everything from wheelchairs to kidney machines to nebulizers.
Locally, $225,766 has been donated to 95 families across Kansas and Missouri.
“There’s dozens of reasons you might need something above and beyond what your health plan covers,” Margherio said.
The fundraiser was expected to raise enough money to supply grants of up to $5,000 to 10 area families. Since the foundation started in 2004, 75% of the grants written have gone to patients not served by United Health Care.
More information about how to apply, eligibility requirements and exclusions is available at the foundation’s website.