Chelsea Cares, Inc.

Comforting children one blanket at a time

Chelsea's Story

On December 20, 2006 Eric and Suzanne Mayes and their 3-year son Ryan were blessed with the newest addition to their family, Chelsea Anne Mayes.  Chelsea was a beautiful, healthy blessing to the family and we could not have been happier with our early Christmas present. 

Within 2 weeks, Chelsea became sick with a severe cold.  On January 9th, after Chelsea’s 2nd visit to the pediatrician’s office, she was sent to Akron Children’s Hospital via emergency ambulance.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Chelsea went into septic shock and was placed on life support with more tubes then one could possibly imagine.  After close to a week on life support she was diagnosed with Adenovirus.  This virus is a severe cold in healthy children and adults, but can be a deadly virus in newborns or others with deficient immune systems. 

We would sit at her bedside watching her and wishing we could trade places with her.  She was only three weeks old, and she should have been at home, not in the hospital.  It is hard to explain how much it meant to us when one of the nurses brought in a cheerful, soft, blanket to brighten Chelsea’s sterile, white, hospital room.  It represented normal life, a sense of home, and comfort.  It really touched our hearts and lifted our spirits.  After 3 weeks at Akron Children’s Hospital, Chelsea was able to once again come home.

Little did we know at the time that this would be the beginning of what has become Chelsea Cares Inc., a wonderful charitable organization with a mission of providing sick children and their famillies with comfort and security during a very scary time. 

During Chelsea’s stay, we overheard the nurses discussing that their supply of blankets was low.  It saddened us to think that other children would not be able to receive the same comfort that Chelsea did.  It then became our mission to supply Akron Children's Hospital with enough blankets so that each child can receive one.  Thus, Chelsea Cares, Inc. was formed to fulfill this mission.

To date, Chelsea Cares has donated over 6,926 blankets and 7,138 pillowcases to Akron Children’s Hospital.  That's a total of 14064 blankets and pillowcases donated!!!