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Mom paying it forward in her son's memory

Posted at 4:20 AM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 06:35:19-04

Jennifer Ryan lost her son to a number of health issues but is finding a way to pay it forward in his memory.

Parker Carden was just 13 years old when he passed away from a rare genetic disorder and muscular dystrophy back in April. Jennifer credits the child life team at Helen Devos Children's Hospital for helping make her son's extended stays more enjoyable.

The team is responsible for going above and beyond to make sure kids still get the chance to be a kid, even when they're hospitalized for long periods of time.

And since Parker was such a huge fan of all things Thomas the Train, Jennifer Ryan came up with Parker's Promise, collecting Thomas the Train toys for kids in the hospital as well as creating something special for the wonderful nurses and hospital workers who take care of the sick children.

"I want to bring treats up to the floors for the nurses and the techs," Jennifer explained. In fact, while Parker was there she used to bring goody bags to the hospital staff who looked after her son. "I would get a little basket of treats so that people coming into our room could get a treat. I just appreciated the care so much, and we got to know them. Some of these nurses became like family because we were there so often. They knew our story, they knew what was going on with everybody. So I just want Parker's memory to bless others."

If you're interested in donating to Parker's Promise, you can click here, as well as through Venmo @parkerspromise214.