By ERIKA I. RITCHIE / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
LAKE FOREST – Wendy and Sean Vassilaros, who founded the aMAYZing Kids Clinic, raised more than $10,000 during the first one-mile charity walk.
About 300 people came out to raise money for and awareness of the Lake Forest clinic founded to help all children ages 0 -8, including uninsured and under-insured. Proceeds raised on Saturday from the walk donations will be used to buy equipment for the clinic and to help families who have financial needs serviced by the clinic.
The couple founded the clinic in September 2011 in memory of their daughter, Hailey Mayz Vassilaros, who at 3 died suddenly in her sleep in August 2009. Doctors believed she choked on scar tissue that had built up on her esophagus. She had been diagnosed with a tracheoesophageal fistula, a condition where her esophagus was attached to her air tube rather than her stomach.
Hailey loved going to therapy, Sean Vassilaros said. She died just a few weeks after graduating from therapy. When an opportunity to create the clinic became available the couple jumped on it. They joined forces with four of Hailey’s therapists to open the clinic.
Since opening the clinic hundreds have been treated there. There are 11 therapists. The clinic was recently selected for assistance by Southern California Edison as part of its 2012 charity pick.
The clinic includes a parents’ lounge with Wi-Fi and a coffee station, four treatment rooms, a toddlers’ gym, office space and a multi-purpose area.
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