The life of a football family is never easy. Between coaching, kids, and everything else that life might throw at you, it can be quite the challenge. When Eric and Melinda Wolford brought their son Stone into the world, he came with a couple of curveballs that they never could have expected. However, the family handled it all in stride, and now they’re stronger than ever.
What started as a mystery disease has become a conquerable obstacle, and the Wolfords have even begun working to help other families attain similar success despite all the hardships.
Stone Wolford was born with a genetic mutation known as Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome, which affects development of the heart, face and skin. It took nearly two years for the Wolfords to get a correct diagnosis, but in the years since they’ve worked hard to improve Stone’s condition and help others like him. Those efforts culminated in the creation of the No Stone Unturned Foundation.
The driving force behind the foundation, according to Melinda and nsuf.org, is to support individuals and families affected by CFC Syndrome and other health disorders while raising awareness about the various diseases and disorders that impact their lives.
“We didn’t want to limit it in anyway,” Melinda said.
Their desire to help as many people as possible created rapid expansion for No Stone Unturned. What started as a series of fundraisers soon became a therapeutic learning center helping children and families deal with both physical and mental ailments ranging from CFC to depression. The foundation serves over 300 families a year in the Manhattan, Kansas area and is looking to expand and serve an even wider population.
No Stone Unturned is now positively impacting the lives of so many families in Manhattan, but it didn’t just happen overnight. In Melinda’s words, it was very much a “community effort.” Their first two fundraisers yielded about $25, and their second annual golf tournament left them in the red. Melinda and Eric were discouraged by the results, but the entire Manhattan community, both residents and coaches at Kansas State University, encouraged the K-State alum and his wife to keep the charitable actions coming.
Soon after, a committee and executive board were formed. A few years later, No Stone Unturned opened the doors on its therapeutic learning center. Now, it’s in an even larger facility, with 32 employees working to serve more than 300 families.
It all started as a quest to help their son. Now the Wolfords are working to improve an entire community, one they don’t even live in anymore. It’s a testament to their good will and a lesson in what can be accomplished when a community comes together to make a change.