This page is set up for my beautiful friend Lindsay (née Dennis), her husband Matt and their sweet baby girl Raelee Adalin.
Lindsay and Matt met in college and an immediate friendship was sparked. Their friendship thrived for many years and eventually grew in to an undeniable love. In September 2016 Lindsay and Matt were married and Lindsay instantly became the best stepmom in the world to Kowen and Makena. Their new family of 4 loved spending time together, but Lindsay yearned for a child of her own.
Amazingly, Lindsay became pregnant in the fall of 2017. She was so excited to share her good news with family and friends. Raelee Adalin Claridge entered the world on July 19, 2018 and appeared to be a happy, healthy baby.
As the months progressed, Raelee began to miss milestones. Then she started having infantile spasms or seizures. Lindsay and Matt took Raelee to BC Children’s Hospital where she was admitted on New Years Day.
Multiple tests were done including blood work, an EEG and an MRI to determine the underlying cause of the seizures.
On January 3, 2019 Lindsay and Matt’s world was turned upside down. The neurological team had diagnosed Raelee with a very rare, life threatening disease called Lissencephaly.
Lissencephaly essentially means “smooth brain”. In other words, Raelee’s brain did not develop properly during pregnancy, and it lacks the folds and wrinkles that allow the brain to function normally. What this means for her future is unknown, but the prognosis is not good.
Raelee has one of the most severe cases of Lissencephaly. This means it is highly unlikely that she will ever walk, talk or progress past her 5 months of development. She will never live the life that Lindsay and Matt had so desperately dreamed for her. When Lindsay stops nursing, Raelee will require a feeding tube. If she lives through infancy, she will require a specialized wheelchair meaning the Claridge family will need an accessible home and car.
Sadly the life expectancy of people with this condition is 10 years old. We are so hopeful that Raelee will make progress but the odds are stacked against her. Lissencephaly can’t be reversed. Treatment will only aim to support and comfort her.
Lindsay are Matt face so many unknowns at the moment. They will work with a team of neurologists, pediatricians, and multiple therapists, but between medical appointments, special medications and equipment, Raelee will require 24 hour care. It is not known in what capacity Lindsay will be able to return to work.
Lindsay and Matt will also need help to provide childcare for Kowen and Makena while Raelee has appointments and treatments.
We are asking for donations for the mounting costs that lie ahead. Everything from parking at the hospital to the best care and equipment we can provide. Please give what you can, and if you can’t give, please keep beautiful Raelee and her family in your prayers.