FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After the heartbreaking death of their son, Fairfield residents Mike and Kelly Fedak are channeling their grief into a charity for special needs children and their families.
Their 10-year-old son, Mikey, died suddenly in April after being sick, his parents said.
After the memorial service and the hardest period of grief was over, the Fedaks focused on getting their charity, Only You, off the ground. The name of the charity came from Mikey’s favorite song by NRBQ. When hearing just the first notes, his mother said, he would smile and laugh through the whole song.
Starting a charity to help other families with special needs children had always been a thought for his parents. But his death prompted them to move. His mother said she has been able to focus her grief in building the fledgling charity.
“It was a natural thing for us to want to help other kids and their families,” she said. And since starting the charity at the beginning of the summer, they have been trying to do just that.
They helped the Fairfield SportsPlex this summer with a summer camp for special needs children by hiring and helping to pay for a physical therapist and occupational therapist to work with the campers.
But the charity will mainly focus on individual families and helping them financially. That is why they chose to form a public charity rather than a foundation: to give to families rather than other foundations.
“We want to give money to individual families and children that have specific needs,” Mike Fedak said.
They’re starting locally by helping families in Fairfield County and Westchester County. But their goal is to one day be a national charity and work with families all over the country.
On Sept. 21, Only You will be holding its inaugural 5K run at Jennings Beach to raise money for the charity. There will be a kids tent, where four au pairs that worked with Mikey will be on hand to help take care of children as their parents run.
Elementary school students who need to run their President’s Challenge mile will be able to do so with a special 1-mile section of the run. Everyone is welcome to run or attend the festivities.
“He was really well-liked, and anyone who knew him at all feels really proud to do something in his memory,” Kelly Fedak said.
To participate in the 5K run, register on the Only You website.