Hospital stays are a fact of life for Ashley Wade. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 17 and has been in and out of care ever since.
She knows what it’s like to feel stuck, lonely or scared inside a hospital, so she’s made it her mission to brighten the lives of kids battling chronic illnesses through the Ashley Wade Foundation.
“I spent a lot of time in the hospital getting treatment and seeing different doctors so I got a chance to see how many children suffer with chronic illnesses every day,” Wade said. “I wanted to do something to make them happy.”
Wade’s foundation delivers care packages and Christmas gifts to kids at Winthrop-University Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center. She also organizes Family Fun Days and there are currently over 60 families that are a part of the foundation’s programs.
“I just love to see the kids smile and make the families happy,” Wade said. “It’s great to see everyone support each other, that’s the best part.”
Wade’s work has not gone unnoticed. The Islanders – who do their own hospital visits annually – and National Grid honored her as a Hometown Hero at Sunday’s Islanders-Red Wings game. Wade also won the Sheckler Foundation Be the Change award in 2014.
“National Gird is proud to partner with the Islanders to honor Ashley Wade and her foundation,” said Lori Acker, National Grid’s VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. “It’s wonderful to see her giving back to the community from her experience that she had to help children with chronic illnesses.”
Click here to nominate a National Grid Hometown Hero.