Shawn's recovery has been inspirational. Although his rare congenital anomaly is only 1 of 200 cases ever recorded, there are so many other children and families that are affected by conditions similar to Shawn's. Rachel and I were shocked to find out that there were very few resources for families like ours. This is what made us decide that we would do whatever we could to help prevent another family from feeling helpless and alone like we did. That is when we decided to start Shawn's Anomaly. Congenital Anomalies affect 1 in 30 children and are the leading cause of infant deaths according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Unlike several non-profit organizations that help bring awareness to conditions such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Autism, Diabetes, and Pediatric Cancer; Shawn’s Anomaly was formed with a dedicated to the mission of providing education, hope, and help to families affected by congenital anomalies. That sobering statistic pushes the leaders of this campaign to accomplish the mission. Shawn’s Anomaly accomplishes this mission by focusing on the following goals:
Fund congenital anomaly research project
Aid families in gathering all information
regarding research and treatment of their child’s congenital anomaliesProvide licensed counseling options free to
families affected by congenital anomalies
Provide a centralized location where families
can find information and connect with other families going through similar experiences.
Provide supplemental assistance to families
while children are undergoing surgical procedures
An example of how we complete this mission is by funding medical research like what is done at Texas Children's Hospital (Hospital where Shawn was treated)
Texas Children’s Hospital is ranked #9 in the US and #1 in Texas – in pediatric urology by U.S.News & World Report. The urology service provides medical/surgical care for children with genitourinary problems related to congenital birth defects or trauma and medical conditions such as recurrent urinary tract infections and dysfunctional voiding patterns. Patients from birth to 19 years of age are seen by self and physician referral.
Dr. Lawrence Cisek
Texas Children’s Hospital is to be praised for completing the research and procedures that have helped Shawn be like any normal happy child his age. Special thanks is given to Dr. Cisek and his team who administered the groundbreaking surgery on Shawn and his continued efforts to help others through the Shawn's Anomaly campaign.
In 2010, a goal was set to raise $25,000 in 5 years to help kick off a research and awareness campaign at Texas Children's Hospital. With the help of other athletes, sponsors, and businesses that participated in Team Shawn's Anomaly, that goal was met in less than 3 years, and several millions of dollars have been raised through our continuing partnership with Texas Children's Hospital who often asks our family to come share our story.
Since the start of this journey, I have also been appointed to several birth defect committees and boards around the world. I am often invited to speak at events all over the world to show that if you have the resilience and determine to make a difference in this world that "Anything Is Possible!"
If you are ever looking someone to come speak to your company or organization, I am always willing to share our story. Please CONTACT US!