Waner Children’s Vascular Anomaly Foundation was established in 2007 by Edward Foster and Sherri Foster as a way to thank Dr. Milton Waner for the care he provided their daughter in the hopes that the foundation could give more kids and families access and financial support.
To give patients & families access to world class treatment for vascular anomalies as well as the support system to help them through it. We believe all kids have the right to look normal.
Children and families from around the world can get the treatment they need and go on to live healthy, normal lives.
How We Help
I live in Kansas City, and my daughter Rachel, who is now 15, was born with a pretty severe segmental hemangioma, which is a raised, red vascular birthmark. In the beginning, they were life- and organ threatening because of how rapidly they were changing. I dove in right away and started researching online. Everywhere I went, they just wanted me to wait and fix the damage that was going to occur and support her. But the vascular anomalies were significant enough that by the time she was two weeks old the doctors told me that she would have congestive heart failure, would be blind, deaf in one ear, and be severely disfigured over about 75% of her head. They said she would have a tracheostomy and a feeding tube because the anomalies were also in her airway. They told me her life would be completely different.
Then I found Dr. Waner – actually, through a connection in Little Rock, Arkansas where I grew up. In college, I worked with the on-call team for the cardiovascular surgery unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and I reached out to the surgeon I knew. Everyone – surgeon and nursing staff – all had amazing things to say about him. I called Dr. Waner’s office and sent them photographs. Every other office I called said I would have to wait six months for an appointment. But Dr. Waner’s assistant immediately took my daughter’s photos to him while he was in the operating room. They called me back about two hours later and said, ‘Can you be here tomorrow?’. We met the next day; the staff stayed late so Dr. Waner could see us. My four-week old daughter was in surgery a week later. Dr. Waner made a treatment plan, and Rachel had 11 surgeries before she was two. It was scary, terrifying, and traumatizing as a parent, but Dr. Waner told me Rachel was going to look normal, that she would be fine. Today my daughter is 100% normal.
How do you thank someone who gives your child a normal life? While Rachel was being treated, we were in New York once a week, every week for the first six months of her life. Then once a month for a long period of time so I really got to know the amazing staff. I watched Dr. Waner put hospital bills, flights, hotel rooms for patients on his personal credit card. He wanted to make sure that kids could get to him, and that he could treat them for free. I told him he needed a foundation. So my husband, Edward, and I set up the Waner Children’s Vascular Anomaly Foundation – we call it Waner Kids – so Dr. Waner and Dr. O could continue their goal to help children function and look normal.