About Blanket Hugs
Blanket Hugs is a 501c3 Non Profit organization founded by McKenna Rodriguez at age 13. She wanted to create a place where families of sick children had somewhere to safely come online, connect with others, share there child's story and receive support in the form of comfort.
BH started with custom designed blankets. We later added other programs such as HeartPacks for children and families overcoming CHD and Heart Disease, Sewing Packs, Care Packages, Seasonal Programs (providing a family with Christmas etc..) and any other help we can bring to a family.
We run solely off of donations made from others. All of our programs are completely FREE to the families. Without donations Blanket Hugs will not be here. We except financial and product donations. ALL donations are tax deductible.
Since birth McKenna was always a “peculiar” child, she would show signs and symptoms of something being wrong but no doctor would take it seriously or wouldn’t connect the dots as to what was going on. Since 2 weeks old she was in and out of doctors for gastrointestinal issues. Doctors would say she’s normal or nothing was wrong. 16 years later it was found that she had a disorder called Gastroparesis that was mis diagnosed for that many years. It means stomach paralysis for short. To back it up again throughout her childhood she would continue to show other signs, migraines since age 7, joint pain, the gastro issues, severe asthma, always getting hurt, fracturing very easily, and the list could on and on. She had many mis diagnoses such as, Fibromyalgia, anxiety, IBS and more. The first right diagnoses to come were PCOS and Hashimotos at the age of 10. When she turned 10 what was already bad turned to very bad and has stayed that way since. When she turned 15 answers started to flood in. The first of many being, POTS - Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Testing showed just her resting HR being in the 180’s at times even while on treatment for associated high blood pressure. The next answer came in July of 2016, it was the answer to everything. She was diagnosed with Classical Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. A genetic connective tissue disorder, her body creates faulty connective tissue/collagen. Collagen is the glue that holds everything together in your body. When its faulty well you literally fall apart. Because connective tissue is everywhere in your body this means every system in a EDS body is somehow effected, the lungs, heart, veins, brain, skin, joints, eyes, bones, nerves, etc... For McKenna EDS has also caused her to have the above diagnoses and the ones not yet listed. She was then diagnosed with MCAD - Mast Cell Activation Disorder, to put it short she’s allergic to the “world”. After her symptoms started worsening and no treatment with meds were working, the decision to place a port came (now a hickman line) to do daily fluids and IV meds as needed at home through it. Gastroparesis came next. Then a skin biopsy reveled she had Small Fiber Neuropathy, due to EDS her nerves are being damaged and dying. This causes excruciating pain. For the past year she has had a 24/7 headache and migraine. Never going away and only getting worse. It has been discovered she may have a CSF leak (another thing common in EDS) and will be looked into with a neurosurgeon. Something that has kept McKenna away from sewing temporarily but not from finding other ways to help others. While her story here ends, it wont end in real life, she will continue to fight everyday for the rest of her life. While we are hopeful for the future we know life with EDS and chronic illnesses are very unpredictable, as we are sure you all understand. If anything else happens with her health we will be sure to update here with the new info. We love each and everyone one of you and thank you for being supportive in her journey with BH.