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"From early on until I was about 9 and we moved away - which was some 40+ years ago now - my best friend was Shawn Stroh. We did everything together (he even asked to marry me when we were about 6). He had trouble walking - but as kids do, I ignored it and kept playing with him. I even took to walking pigeon toed like he did to make him feel better (I still walk like that today). Anyway, his parent were terrific. They bought him a very cool red wagon and I had him sit in the back and I would race up and down the sidewalks with him laughing in the back. Or we would just sit in the back and talk about all the important things children share. We were inseparable. We spent every minute of sunshine together. He knew my every thought and dream and I knew his. Shawn had Muscular Dystrophy and died in High School. But we had the joyous time together of laughter, talking and just sitting in that wonderful red wagon. Thanks for letting me share those precious memories."
"My name is Mae Mallaney, my story may be a little different than the others that are submitted. My Radio Flyer experience was a life saver for me. It started in July 2010 when my youngest daughter Madyson was born. 8 weeks after her birth, she went for her 2 month check up and the doctor noticed that she had a clicking in her left hip. We then went for a follow up at Shriner's Children's hospital in Springfield Mass. Her doctor was very empathetic after a battery of tests, explaining to my husband and I that our daughter had congenital hip displaysia and that she may need surgery to correct it. I was devastated beyond words. He told us that her hip joint was so out of place that it was wearing a divot in her pelvic bone. He explained that she would not walk correctly, more than likely she would have one leg longer than the other and that she would most definitely have a limp. We had 2 optins, one was an open reduction of her hip, the other a closed reduction of her hip, which could only be a possibility if we put her in traction for 4 weeks and it worked. I cried more than I have ever cried. The thought of my daughter, my baby going under for surgery scared me beyond words. The risk of infection with an open reduction plus the amount of recovery time truly worried me. When my daughter was 6 months old, her Dr. (Dvarek) took a red Radio Flyer wagon, placed pads and blankets in the bottom of it, it was built up with metal bars to hold the weights that would be placed on her legs, and in this Red Radio Flyer wagon is where my daughter would spend the next 4 weeks, 24 hours each day, on her back with weights holding her legs at a 90 degree angle and he backside off the bottom. But if this worked, as well hoped, she would get out of having an open reduction and be able to get the closed reduction surgery, with no cutting, less recovery and healing time and a better over all outcome. We kept her in that Red wagon 24/7 for 4 weeks and prayed for the best as we anxiously awaited word from the doctor as to whether or not this Red wagon traction worked. The doctor came in and told us what we were praying to hear...The Red wagon traction worked, we were able to get the closed reduction!! It worked, and now we have a healthy, bouncing, happy 3 year old. Whenever I see a Radio Flyer Red Wagon, I think of this ordeal and thank God for it! My memories of the Radio Flyer wagon are bittersweet, but it saved our little girl's ability to walk. Thank you Radio Flyer!"