The Bellaflies Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to Making a Positive by providing hope for children and families affected by pediatric strokes. The foundation raises pediatric stroke awareness, funds pediatric stroke research and education worldwide, and provides support to children’s hospitals. Pediatric strokes are the 6th cause of death in children largely due to the fact that they take over twice as long to diagnose compared to adults. We want to change that!
The Bellaflies Foundation was founded in memory of Isabella Cheree Paquette. Bella suddenly became ill on September 11, 2011, with a virus that caused massive brain swelling, which lead to her have seizures and pediatric strokes. Seven days later, on September 17, Bella received her angel wings after fighting harder than anyone we have ever seen. She was 3 years, 5 months, and 3 days old.
To date, we have funded an infectious disease protocol that is currently being implemented at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and has allowed them to be able to detect more infectious diseases than previously thought possible.
We funded research through the University of California, San Francisco’s pediatric stroke research team. They have found that children who have a pediatric stroke do need to be treated differently. Younger children and older children who have pediatric strokes care needs to follow different protocols.
We helped fund an annual lecture series at Washington University School of Medicine that features pediatric stroke experts from all over the world. We are currently entering into a years long partnership with ACH to bring pediatric stroke education throughout the state of Arkansas through their OutreACH education series. We also have more plans in the works with ACH.
We fund all of this through our Strides for Strokes race/event series, and from dedicated donors. SFS is a family-friendly event that features a 5k, fun run, large auction, kids of all ages fun zone, food, drinks, music and more! We donate 100% of proceeds to pediatric stroke education, awareness, and research. You can support from anywhere in the world by becoming a virtual runner (you receive a pretty cool T-shirt, too!) We are currently working on expanding our race series to other states. You can check out more information at www.bellaflies.org/stridesforstrokes
We also donate annually to ACH through our B3 campaign. We were taken to ACH with nothing but the clothes on our backs, and received an outpouring of support from family and friends. Anything we did not use we donated to other families in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
We wanted to continue that tradition buy collecting new toiletries, books, Barbies, robots and more to donate to ACH over Christmas every year in honor of Bella. We realized quickly that not everyone had the village that we did, and if we could help ease ANY burden during that terrifying time we wanted to.
We founded Bellaflies to continue Bella’s beautiful legacy of kindness by helping others. We call it Making a Positive, and believe that the world can always use more Bella in it! For more information please visit www.bellaflies.org, e-mail us at Janelle@bellaflies.org, contact us via FB at https://www.facebook.com/bellaflies/, tweet us @bellaflies_org, and contact us on Instagram @bellaflies_org.