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Making a Difference: Powell family grows medically adaptive pajama project

Something as simple as pajamas can provide a lot of comfort for kids.
Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 8:34 PM EST
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POWELL, Tenn. (WVLT) - Something as simple as pajamas can provide a lot of comfort for kids. Some kids have special PJs to make them more comfortable while they battle cancer.

Two and a half years ago when Noah Sileno was diagnosed with leukemia the Silenos were struggling.

“It’s so overwhelming when you have a child diagnosed with cancer,” said Martha Sileno, Noah’s mom.

At the clinic, he wore a scratchy medical gown. His family wanted something comfier for medical staff to be able to access his chemotherapy port.

“So we decided that pajamas would be great, but it was hard to wear pajamas with the port because he needed to constantly be accessed and hooked up to IVs and chemo,” explained Sileno.

That’s where the idea for these new jammies came from to make treatments just a little easier.

Sileno said, “To know that we can provide comfort and care and know that the kids can pick out the characters they enjoy, it just gives them a little bit of normalcy for what they’re going through.”

They’re special to Noah, “Because they’re comfy.”

Noah’s beaten cancer. But it helps families like the Longs whose three-year-old son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with leukemia last January.

“So you cope with it, you show up to clinic and you have to rip their shirts off they’re screaming, you have no idea that there’s even an option out there,” said Ashley Long.

Long said the jammies were a game-changer.

Long explained, “As soon as we put those pajamas on and we were just able to open that for his port it was a total change. He was totally comfortable with clinic. He didn’t freak out necessarily with getting his port access.”

Volunteer seamstress, Freida Johnson, felt called to help the cause by sewing hundreds of Velcro sections.

“It’s just been a blessing to me, to help these children,” said Johnson.

All three women plan to be a part of getting kids medically adaptive pajamas for the rest of their lives.

“Even when he defeats cancer there’s still going to be a kid out there getting diagnosed. So there’s no sense in stopping when your kid stops. There’s other kids that will always have this journey,” said Long.

Since June 2019 the Noah Nation Foundation has gifted more than 600 pairs of pajamas, all for free.

Pajamas can be donated to “The #NoahNation Foundation”, P.O Box 71281, Knoxville, TN 37938-1281

Pajama sizes needed range from 9 months to adult.

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