Starlight

Radio Flyer Wagon Remains Safe Space for Starlight Kid Throughout the Years

When Finn was just four months old, he underwent open heart surgery needed due to his congenital heart disease (CHD). After surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), he slept in a Radio Flyer Wagon, where he found comfort laying inside of it and enjoyed being wheeled through the hospital hallways with oxygen tanks in tow.

Baby Finn - blog image asset

This turned into five weeks of Finn sleeping in the wagon. It became his safe spot – he received X-rays, blood work, everything, from the comfort of the Radio Flyer Wagon. 

Radio Flyer has been a Starlight Children’s Foundation partner since 2001 and has contributed more than 15,000 of its signature Radio Flyer Wagons to support sick kids across the country at Starlight’s partner hospitals. The wagons help transform a child’s healing experience into a fun adventure during their time in the hospital. 

Wheeling around the halls also became a form of physical therapy for Finn. Kelly, Finn’s mom, and the doctors noticed the more he sat up, the better it was for his heart and circulation.

To parents, the wagon can be just another toy, but to kids, especially a special needs kid, it is magic.

- Kelly, Finn's mom

Flash forward to Finn being back in the hospital at two years old, but this time Mason, his older brother, would join him for wagon rides – making the hospital hallways their race track.

Little Finn & Brother Mason - blog image asset

“Every single night, it was like clockwork. Finn said ‘Daddy’ and pulls him toward the door and said, ‘Wagon ride, wagon ride, wagon ride,’” Kelly said.   
 
This heart warrior has overcome major heart operations and is now a thriving seven-year-old. While there is no cure for CHD, he has received the best care at CHOP and not much can hold this resilient little guy back.  

Finn is one of the very first Starlight kids to experience the new state-of-the-art Starlight Radio Flyer Hero Wagons. He loves it – and so does his mom!  

Kelly said she loves that it’s completely wipeable, really lightweight for transporting through the hospital, and has an IV pole attachment – making it easier for all patients to enjoy a ride.

Finn + RFW wagon - blog image asset

If you would like to help brighten the lives of seriously ill children like Finn, you can donate today.

Your gift combined with the gifts of others help turn pain, fear and stress into laughter, fun and joy – because a sick kid is still a kid. 

More Stories