Salood, derived from the Spanish word “salud” meaning health, is a local organization that is committed to creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for pediatric patients suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses.
Joshua Castillo and Kenny Freeland started dreaming up plans for Salood in September of 2018. The two shared a passion for alleviating the financial burdens families face when their children undergo expensive treatment in hospitals.
Kenny’s passion stems from his own past experiences as a child facing various illnesses – experiences that now allow him the ability to better empathize with pediatric patients and their families. Joshua’s passion comes from a desire to help families and patients gain a sense of hope and normalcy.
Together the two formed Salood, which officially launched in June 2019. Joshua explained the way it works. Salood selects a local business with the desire to collaborate with a pediatric patient on a new product. Case workers at Children’s Health in Dallas then have patients apply to be a part of the collaboration. Once a child is selected, they get to exercise their creativity and work alongside the company to design a product. Proceeds from the product are then split between the vendor and the patient’s family to assist in minimizing medical expenses.
“We want to create awareness of the daily struggle that these families are dealing with,” said Kenny. “When a child is diagnosed, one parent usually stops working. So while their income reduces, their cost of living doubles due to medical expenses.”
Examples of such pairings could include a cookie of the week with a flavor chosen by the patient, working with a clothing manufacturer to design a new shirt or choosing a specialty dessert to be served at a restaurant.
The first child to participate in the Salood partnership is Makenna, who has an interest in crafts. She designed a floral bouquet with help from Dallas-based floral design boutique Charming at the Market. Salood’s launch event on Sep. 14 debuted Makenna’s product, which will remain on sale at Charming at the Market for a month.
“We want people to walk away with a feeling of hope,” said Joshua. “A lot of families who go through this feel isolated. We want a family who is going through a similar situation to feel encouraged by Makenna’s story.”
Salood hopes to have a new patient participate in the program every other month. The public is invited to either purchase the patient’s products in-store or donate directly on the Salood website to help support the families.Salood >