Estero teen’s charity raises money for families burdened by medical bills
A teenage girl from Estero knows the struggles of paying costly medical treatment expenses and now she devotes her time making sure others don’t have to worry about where the money to cover their medical bills will come from.
Taylor Bouchard is an 18-year old who attends Estero High School and spent a lot of time as a youth traveling to various places for medical treatments.
“When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation… I went to Colorado and I’ve had 15 treatments out there,” Taylor said.
She knows the overnight stays and constant eating out can add up, and eventually can become more than a family can afford to pay for.
“You have the flights, the hotel, the food and it adds up. There are foundations for cancer but if your illness is debilitating but not life-threatening, there is no where to go so we saw that need,” Taylor said.
So before Taylor was even old enough to buy a lottery ticket she started ‘Ducklings Travel’ charity foundation to provide help to families in need.
“We have all the merchandise, private donors have helped us and we’ve been holding a lot of community fundraisers.”
Taylor’s mom Emily Bouchard plays a big role in the fundraising as well, she says knowing what it takes to pay for these trips also inspired her to help others.
“We knew what we had to do to get her out to Denver all the time…then you think some people don’t have the money,” Emily said.
So far they have helped multiple families get to their treatments with no cost to the family at all.
“We just sent earlier this month a girl to Philadelphia, we sent another one last week to treatment in Miami.” Emily said.
Going forward, Taylor will take over the role as president of the non-profit after turning 18 in the Spring where she hopes to expand the Duckling’s travel reach by partnering with hospitals and hosting more events that inspire people to support families in need.
A fundraiser takes place the weekend of May 3 at Aerie Lane. If you would like to donate to families in need go to the Duckling’s Travel website here.