Allie Bourgois, a first-grader from Louisiana, wants to be a ballerina. She loves to spin and twirl, overcoming the challenges of her Cerebral Palsy which limit her ability to walk. To help stabilize her legs, she uses an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), but it keeps her from fitting into ballet shoes – that is, until this year.
Allie was the 20,000th grant recipient from UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF), which helped her family purchase a walk aide. For the first time ever, she can walk without an AFO, something she has worn since she was one. It also means she can keep perfecting her ballerina twirl.
UHCCF announced this milestone at the 10th Annual UHCCF Golf Classic at Hazeltine. More than 400 golfers, UnitedHealthcare employees, sponsors, guests and volunteers joined together to raise funds for the foundation. The event is UHCCF’s largest single-day fundraiser, and this year it raised a record-breaking $1.8 million to help fund additional medical grands for kids across the country.
“We are grateful to have reached our 2020 goal of 20,000 grants nearly a year ahead of schedule,” said Matt Peterson, UHCCF president. “The commitment and work of UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation has made a positive difference in the lives of so many children.”
Since 2007, UHCCF has provided more than $48 million in medical grants to pay for children’s medical expenses that are not covered, or not fully covered, by a commercial health insurance plan. Families can receive up to $5,000 annually per child and do not need to have insurance through UnitedHealthcare to be eligible.
“A medical grant like the one Allie’s family received can be life-changing, allowing them to focus on their children’s well-being instead of worrying about how they will pay for necessary medical needs,” Matt said.
UHCCF grants can help pay for a variety of medical services and equipment, such as physical, occupation and speech therapies, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, cranial helmets, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
“This new walk aide will change her life, giving her the independence and support she needs to spread her wings and keep moving. We’ll get her registered for dancing because now she’ll be able to wear ballet slippers,” said Allie’s mother, Sandy. “We are so grateful for the support of UHCCF for helping make this happen.”
To learn more about UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation, visit www.uhccf.org.