Equalize Health has received a generous donation in memory of Kip Freshwater, a captivating 5-year old boy from Birmingham, England, to support the final development of FlowLite, our neonatal CPAP that will provide life-saving treatment to newborns with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS).
Kip was a fun-loving boy with a particularly infectious sense of humor. He is known to have brought laughter and tears to those who knew him and thousands who didn’t. (I am among the latter who has equal parts cackled and sobbed as I’ve followed Kip’s story. Want to see what I mean - just listen to his hilarious banter on BBC 5’s Kermode & Mayo’s film review radio show. Skip to the 37-minute marker if you want to jump straight to pure joy and hear Kip’s now infamous catchphrase!)
Tragically, Kip died on July 8, 2021 from complications of a stem cell transplant for leukaemia, which he had been battling for the majority of his short, but clearly, very full life.
Kip was always kind and loving to others. If someone was upset, he would bring them a teddy bear for comfort, and give them a hug. Despite their heartbreaking loss, Kip’s parents Ed and Sarah, and his older sister, Millie, almost immediately - and most incredibly - focused on how they could harness Kip’s spirit of compassion and help other children and families have access to the quality treatment Kip received.
“Our son Kip had four years of high quality treatment on the National Health Service to which we are so grateful to have access. Our main passion is to make a difference to children and families in parts of the world where access to even basic health care is limited. We want this money to make a real difference to real families and to save the lives of children.”
- Sarah Freshwater, Kip’s mom
Equalize Health is grateful to have been chosen as one of several recipients of the TeamKip GoFundMe campaign. Other worthy charities include: UNICEF, World Child Cancer, Anthony Nolan Trust and Young Lives Vs Cancer.
“TeamKip are thrilled to provide a donation of £15,000 to Equalize Health to help in the final stages before rollout of its FlowLite project to help children with Respiratory Distress Syndrome and to save precious lives. Part of the legacy of Kip's short beautiful life in our family will be that other children and families receive this medical treatment at a time when they most need it.
This donation has been made possible by the outstanding generosity of those whose lives were touched by Kip's kindness and humor, from all over the world." - TeamKip
RDS is the leading cause of preterm newborn death globally but, with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) suffering from the overwhelming burden. Over 3.2 million babies each year will suffer from RDS in LMICs and without treatment, nearly all of these babies would die from RDS complications.
FlowLite, is a neonatal CPAP, specifically designed to address the gap in effective and quality care of RDS in even the most challenging settings. With FlowLite, we are addressing the key factors hindering accessibility, adoption, and effective treatment so that no baby, no matter where they are born, dies of RDS.
Equalize Health is grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to Kip's legacy with FlowLite. It is our honor and privilege to conduct our work in his memory.
His laughter and love will live on in the thousands of babies, who will be given a chance at life.
Equalize Health will always be on #TeamKip. #smellypantswee!
If you’d like to contribute to Kip’s legacy you may do so on the TeamKip GoFundMe page.
To learn more about Kip and his family’s journey, check out the #TeamKip blog.