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.