Normal Moments for Families of Critically Ill Children

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Casten family is like any other family: juggling three kids, running a household, and attempting to cross items off their to-do list. Unlike other families, however, their two-year-old daughter Ella has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a progressive neuromuscular disease that causes weakness and degeneration of muscles.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, SMA in infants is characterized by breathing and feeding difficulties, “floppy infant,” lack of head control, little movement, and/or weakness that gets worse. The disease rarely begins in adulthood and is often hereditary. Though there is no treatment, support is crucial.

For the Casten family, this is where Normal Moments comes in, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families of critically ill children. Volunteers assist families by completing tasks such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, or in the Casten’s case, playing with Ella so that mom Lindsey can do things like finishing up the laundry and working on the family’s small business.

The goal of the organization is to take care of these everyday tasks so that families have time for the normal moments in life that bring them closer. Volunteers not only help with these tasks, but also serve as non-judgmental listeners for parents who may simply need a sounding board. Normal moments can be the best moments, and Normal Moments, Inc. strives to make that a reality for families with critically ill children.

For more information on Normal Moments or how to become involved:

For more information on SMA:

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.