Building Hope. Building Community.   Building Hang Tough Heroes.

Here at Hang Tough, we encourage and enable our clientele to thrive by offering curated services and programming free of charge. You can learn more about each dynamic and unique program below.


Part of caring for the whole family is offering professional counseling assistance to our Hang Tough Hero families. We have a network of licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as Social Workers  available to our Hang Tough families. If you are a parent or caregiver seeking counseling assistance for you or someone in your immediate family, please fill out this form. If you are new to Hang Tough, please first sign up via the Hero Sign Up form.

If you are a licensed counselor or social worker interested in joining our resource list to assist  our Hang Tough families, connect with us via our volunteer page or email us at for more information.

Family Fun Events

Quarterly, Hang Tough offers fun events that our Hang Tough families can enjoy together. This is a time to forget about the worries at home and just be a family! Events like this are made possible by our generous donors and are free of charge to our families. Often times, when a family is focused on the medical needs of a child, taking a moment to relax and have fun takes a backseat.  We seek to provide those opportunities to allow families time to re-connect and engage with one another.  It is also a great time for Hero families to get to know one another and build a community.  Past events include an FSU Baseball game, a trip to the Fun Station, and a morning spent at Redemptive Love Farm and Petting Zoo. To see a full listing of our upcoming events, view our calendar of events.

Health and Wellness

Our newest program to launch, Hang Tough is proud to host events geared towards helping our families take care of their health. We realize it is easy to focus all of your energy on the diagnosis and forget to take care of yourself–body, mind, and spirit.  This program allows heroes, sidekicks, and caregivers to discover ways to get moving, implement healthy eating choices, and making sure that everyone in the family remembers the importance of self-care.

While creating the vision and mission for the health and wellness program, our organization’s family relations team was inspired by supporter, Ely Rosario. Through her work with the Tallahassee Marathon and Tallahassee’s Top Singles, Ely helped to raise close to $60,000 for Hang Tough Foundation in 2017. Rosario’s unrelenting work ethic and dedication inspired the health and wellness programs motto, “Make It Happen!”

Through health and wellness activities, our organization hopes to give our families the strength, endurance and energy to “Make It Happen!” throughout their journey with childhood illness and special needs.

To see a full listing of our upcoming events, check out our event calendar.

Hero’s Got Talent Show

In 2017, Hang Tough hosted our very first Hero’s Got Talent Show.  Hang Tough Foundation wanted to create a safe, comfortable environment where our heroes and sidekicks have an opportunity to exhibit their talents and truly shine.  Hang Tough is always looking for ways to allow our heroes to have the same experiences as other children without a diagnosis or a label being a concern.  The talent show is a prime example of this.  Our 2017 show was a great success and became an immediate tradition! Eighteen amazing acts consisted of heroes and their siblings demonstrating their many talents–tai kwon do, juggling, singing, dancing, and much more!

To find out when we will host our 2018 Hero’s Got Talent show, visit our event calendar.

Parent’s Night Out

One of the most requested services from Hang Tough Hero caregivers is respite care.  Many of our heroes require round-the-clock medical attention which does not allow much, if any, time for the caregiver to step away and breathe for a brief moment. Offered quarterly, Parents Night Out is a time where our parents and caregivers can drop their child(ren) with Hang Tough volunteers and enjoy an evening out. Volunteers consist of medically trained personnel, special education experts, other trained in sign language, and others who are passionate about helping our mission. All volunteers are background checked before participating at a Hang Tough childcare event such as Parent’s Night Out. Before they leave, parents and caregivers receive a gift card provided by the generous support of our Hang Tough donors.

To know when we will have our next Parent’s Night Out, check out the event calendar.

If you are looking to volunteer your time at a Parent’s Night Out or other Hang Tough event, connect with us via our volunteer page.

Santa Day

It’s the most wonderful time for the year for Hang Tough when we host Santa Day. On this day, our heroes and their siblings are offered their very own private meeting with the big man himself, Santa!  For our friends who are immuno-compromised, or have a sensory processing disorder, or are uncomfortable in a public setting to visit Santa, this is the perfect day.  Santa Day allows many children who have been unable to visit Santa in the past, an opportunity to experience that moment like any other child. Appointment times are required which allows us to make sure Santa knows the needs of every child that comes to visit and he also provides a small gift off the child’s wishlist.  This is a very special event and the first Hang Tough program established  when we were founded in 2015.

When RSVP’s for Santa Day 2018 open, you’ll find a link here. Check back soon! 

Sibling Support

When it comes to supporting our heroes, we know there’s no one that knows how to do that better than their siblings… their sidekicks! Here at Hang Tough, we understand that watching your brother or sister go through something so difficult is a challenge in itself. That is why we take time to honor those siblings who’ve gone the extra mile.  Each year, we plan an event just for parents/caregivers and the siblings.  We allow the sidekick the much craved individual attention from their parent/caregiver while encouraging them with praise and recognition for the amazing sidekicks they are.  In the future, we look forward to continuing this event as well as beginning sibling support group opportunities.

For more information about sibling support groups and events, please visit our event calendar

Tough As Nails Support Groups

The Tough as Nails support groups are a time where social workers meet with our parents/caregivers and provide vital support to them. It is also an opportunity for parents/caregivers to get to know other families going through a journey similar to their own. In an effort to ensure our parents/caregivers can spend this time away from their heroes and sidekicks, we provide childcare. Volunteers in childcare consist of medically trained personnel, special education experts, others trained in sign language, and others who are passionate about helping our mission. All volunteers are background checked before participating at a Hang Tough childcare event such as Tough As Nails. Our volunteers at this event play and have a great time with the kiddos right next door as the support group meets. These groups are offered monthly.

If you are looking to volunteer your time at a Tough as Nails Support Group or other Hang Tough event, message us on the volunteer page.

For more information about Tough as Nails support groups and to RSVP, please visit our event calendar.


Many of our Hang Tough Heroes and family members miss class time whether it be because of inpatient stays or trips out of town for treatment or follow-ups. Staying on top of school work can be challenging when juggling the appointments, the medical needs, and simply life!  Hang Tough values education and wants to make sure our heroes and sidekicks are getting the same quality instruction and the best educational foundation possible. That is why we have a resource list of  tutors ready to offer their time to referred Hang Tough families at no cost.  Our tutors are all background checked. If you are a parent or caregiver seeking tutoring service for your hero or their sibling, request a tutor via our family relations team.

If you are over 18 and interested in tutoring a Hang Tough Hero or Sidekick, please fill out this quick form and a member of our family relations team will be in touch!  

Get in Touch with our Family Relations Team


    Part of caring for the whole family is offering tutoring services to Hang Tough Heroes and Sidekicks. We have a wonderful network of volunteers who are qualified to be a resource for your family. Click the button below to request a tutor for your child or you can email our Education Consultant at

    Request a Tutor

    One of the most important things we can do as an organization, is support the family unit through monthly Support Groups for parents as well as Sibling Support Groups. We also offer quarterly respite care via Parent's Night Out. Click the button below to see the date of our next childcare event! Or you can email our Childcare Events Coordinator at

    Event Calendar

    Who doesn't like "fun?" Hang Tough also offers events simply for our families to enjoy together. This is a time to forget about the worries at home and just have a great time as a family. See a full listing of our upcoming events on the Events Calendar! Or for more information about these events, you can email our Family Fun Coordinator at

    Event Calendar
Our Hang Tough Heroes


Collin has Chiari Malformation ll (Type 2). It's a secondary complication of Collin's birth defect "Spina Bifida.” There are several types of Spina Bifida and Collin has the most severe form (myelomeningocele). With this type of Spina Bifida a Chiari Malformation ll is always present in the brain. A Chiari malformation is when part of the cerebellum, or part of the cerebellum and part of the brain stem, has descended below the opening at the base of the skull. This can cause pressure at the base of the brain and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to and from the brain, creating hydrocephalus or "water on the brain" (another condition Collin has).

Complications from Chiari Malformation ll can range from headaches, balance and fine motor difficulties, paralysis, swallowing problems to severe breathing problems or apnea. Our daily struggles with Chiari are actually minimal. But, we do have to keep it monitored annually with MRI's to make sure it is stays stable.

We've been told Collin (as a person) and Collin's MRI do not look like the same person! He's doing exceptionally well in the Chiari department!