Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

Cali and Keira - Bellingham

Imagine that every time you caught a common cold it turned into a painful and lingering sinus infection. Then imagine you are a child, and think of all the missed school days, play dates and visits to the zoo. Cali and Keira Casad know firsthand what this is like—they've been struggling with it since they were toddlers. Both girls have severe allergies and larger than average adenoids, resulting in serious sinus infections and breathing difficulties.

While the girls have faced what seems like an endless string of illnesses, the family has been up against a different kind of menace: bankruptcy.

Sarah Casad works as a housecleaner while the girls are in school, while her husband, Tom, is employed by a small business that builds custom homes. Neither can get health insurance through work, and the family can't afford private coverage.

With every visit to the doctor, the Casads' bills have racked up, requiring them to take out a loan just to stay on top of the payments. Expensive surgeries have been out of the question—until now.

This year, both girls qualified for coverage under the state's new Apple Health for Kids program and are receiving much needed treatment for their adenoids and allergies.

"Our girls now have access to the medical care they need to be healthy," says Sarah. "They get sick less often and they feel better. I love watching them run around just like other little kids."