It’s hard to be a kid when you’re sick, weak and stuck inside of a hospital bed with cords hooking you up to a machine. It’s hard to be a kid and miss out on quality family time, school and holiday festivities. Instead of enjoying the holiday of eating until you no longer can breathe and enjoying family company, I was having a NJ nasal feeding tube implanted through my nose into my small intestine, that hooked up to a pump to manually feed me for survival. That’s not how any child should spend their Thanksgiving, or let alone any day of the year, but that is the reality for millions of children across the world. But, one thing that make the days easier is play, because playing allows you to forget your illness and feel like a ‘kid’.

As an 18-year-old survivor of a rare, undiagnosable life-threatening illness, I acquired a passion to help critically ill children. It is my hope to make a difference in the lives of others and act as a “Rae of Hope” when hope seems lost. My goal is to hopefully, even for at least one minute, bring some extra joy into a child’s day and ensure that they know they are supported and that their strength is recognized and admired. My passion for helping children goes deeper than wanting a child to get better; to me, it is about bring even one more minute of happiness, one more smile, one more laugh or one more ‘Rae of Hope’ into these children’s lives.

When I was sick, people would always acknowledge the strength I had to fight, and even though I felt that I didn’t have any other choice, it empowered me to keep going. It inspired me to incorporate, in the state of CA, “A Rae of Hope Foundation”. ‘A Rae of Hope Foundation’ creates and delivers “superhero kits”, which include toys and activities, along with a superhero cape, designed to remind kids of the superheroes they are and encourage them during their battle.

God blessed me with a difficult and arduous life, but a life that provides me pure satisfaction, joy, peace and gratitude.

Thank you for supporting me on my journey to live out my dreams and ambitions, absolutely none of what I have accomplished could have been done without your unwavering support.


Alex Wilkins