School is started this week, and Kaitlyn can’t wait to start her year off as a sophomore in high school, she loves being around her peers. Kaitlyn was born 2 months premature and spent her first 5 weeks in the hospital. In 1997 she was diagnosed with CP, and that’s where the family’s relationship with UCP-OC started. Kaitlyn received occupational therapy as well as physical therapy with UCP-OC, and currently she has a one-on-one inclusion facilitator, named Eliza Lopez, that meets her at the Boys and Girls Club in Garden Grove. The inclusion specialist allows Kaitlyn to interact with the other children at the facility, so others can move past the fact that she is in a wheelchair and see what a special girl she is.

She enjoys playing solitaire on the computer, bowling and playing hangman with her good friend Marina. At her latest birthday party she went bowling, and even had a few strikes!  She truly is a very special girl that has pushed past her physical boundaries making her a great representation of the organization’s mission of Life Without Limits.

We all know that life with a special needs child can be challenging, especially without a resource to give you guidance and support throughout the process. Kaitlyn and her family found a resource in UCP-OC and wanted to find a way to give back. Recently the family was approached by a friend who started a non-profit called Sports for a Cause and that’s where the journey began.

The team envisioned a basketball tournament in honor of Kaitlyn to benefit UCP-OC and its programs that have assisted the family throughout the years. The event took place Sunday, August 21st at the Garden Grove Sports Complex, and attracted around 200-220 participants and spectators. Garden Grove Hospital was a great support at the event, and its staff came out in droves! They made up five teams and had numerous fans at the game. Team UCP-OC consisted of Kaitlyn’s extended family, and was the only team with females! Go team UCP-OC! There were eight teams that played four 23 minute games.

UCP-OC is very grateful for the family’s support as well as Garden Grove Hospital and Sports for the Cause during this difficult time as we transition to a philanthropic non-profit, raising 50% of our own support.

Published by Life Without Limits: UCP of Orange County

The mission of UCP of Orange County is to help children with disabilities reach their full potential and improve the quality of life for their families.

Join the Conversation


  1. I have met Kaitlyn, and she is an incredible girl! She is so patient and kind to the other children at the Boys and Girls club. I loved watching her play hangman with Marina.

  2. I have had the unique priveledge of watching Kaitlyn grow over the years into the beautiful young woman you see today. I have been impressed by her sheer strength and ability to take every opportunity as a learning experience while striving to reach a higher level of independence on a daily basis. Kaitlyn has nicknamed me “pumpkin pie” as an alert from her Inclusion Facilitator, when I walk on site. As I walk up, I see Kailtyn sit a bit taller and pull her arm in a bit more. it is our belief that Kaitlyn is strong young woman and it is important that she present herself as such.

    I am blessed to work with the Maher family. They embrace her abilities and trully embody our motto of living a “life without limits.”

  3. I love all this. I’ve known Kaitlyn and her family since she was a baby. What progress she has made. As a retired Special Education teacher, I can only wish I had been one of her lucky teachers. She is a sweet girl of whom we are all very proud and we all love her and her family very much. Raine

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