Mattea Joy's Purpose
Mattea's Joy will strive to bring joy and touch the lives of families with hospitalized children while providing comfort and support with the hope of lifting the families' burdens.
Our current projects include:
- Hot dinner served once a month in the NICU and PICU at The University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.
- Homemade dinner served once a month at the Ronald McDonald House near Comer Children's Hospital.
- Carepackage items provided at each dinner that have included Honest Tea and Juice products and KIND Plus Bars generously donated by Honest Tea and KIND; fuzzy socks, kleenex, disposable cameras for nurses to photograph child when the parents are unable to be there, and other comfort items.
- Transfer Packets that include Food, Gas, and Parking gift cards in addition to driving directions and tips for parents transferred from Riverside Medical Center or Provena St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee to Comer Children's Hospital.
- Medela Breastpump Donation program that allows the NICU at Comer to loan home-use pumps to mothers that desire to breast feed their NICU babies but do not have the monetary means or access to a home-use pump. Breast milk is a vital source of nutrients to critically ill and premature babies.
Mattea Joy's Story
Mattea Joy Freedlund was born April 13, 2009 with several severe medical complications. We were given a very small chance that she would survive at birth and we were able to share nine and a half wonderful months with her that we didn't expect to have. Her medical issues didn't allow us much time with Mattea at home and therefore most of her life was spent in the hospital with her at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. It was there that we came to understand what it means to be a parent of a critically ill child and the challenges that go with that experience.
Although we acknowledge that every family's experience is unique and personal, we wanted to reach out and provide support and comfort to families in any way that we could. She touched our lives in ways that we cannot describe and knew after she passed away on January 29, 2010 that we needed to carry her spirit on through helping others.
Mattea's Joy became a non-profit organization on April 13, 2010 and we have been moving forward with her work ever since.