Child of the Month: November

November 2012: Wyatt

Four years ago, we noticed our sweet 6 month-old son missing developmental milestones, and we began to search frantically for a cause. Our answer was clear, yet one we struggled to accept. Our son, Wyatt, was diagnosed with hypotonic cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is damage to the brain that affects the overall muscular skeletal system. For Wyatt this presents itself in very low muscle tone as he has difficulties balancing and holding himself up, and in his speech, gross and fine motor skills. Daily life is fatiguing for our son.

With his diagnosis looming over us, we worried would he be able to go to school and have the same opportunities as any child? How do we as a family support him? The years for early intervention are critical, and we didn’t know where to begin.

Jemi and I discovered the search for services is multifaceted and complex. After three years of Wyatt receiving therapy at many different therapy offices we began to see a disconnect. His care was fragmented.  Therapists were not talking to each other about what Wyatt needed, and he began to stagnate and regress in his abilities. Our dreams for him seemed out of reach as we saw the opportunities for early intervention fading because we were going to the wrong places.

With a sigh of relief, last year we found a center where Wyatt receives all the services he needs in one place; a place with clinical and social support; a place that could answer our family’s questions, a place that feels like home. We found United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC).

One year later, and Wyatt is making progress at UCP-OC! Wyatt receives physical therapy that is helping him to walk confidently on his own, go up and down steps and keep up with those around him. Occupational therapy helps with his play and fine motor skills, such as holding a crayon to color and dealing with changing social environments so he can experience his peers to their fullest and to make friends.   

Today Wyatt attends school and participates in the classroom with his friends. He feels like everyone around him, and as a parent that is all we as can ask for.Without UCP-OC Wyatt would not be making the strides he is, and would have difficulties interacting with other children. Our fears would have become a reality if it was not for the intervention, care and therapy from UCP-OC.

We have new hopes and dreams for Wyatt, and we are seeing these become a reality with the help of United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County. Wyatt has a bright future of more growth.

Will you please join with us in making a gift to UCP-OC, to make a difference in the life of a child, like our Wyatt? Your donation will help make this happen. By sending in your gift or going online at www.ucp-oc.org/give, you can make an impact on a child’s life today.

Thank you for making a difference in the life of our child.

Jemileth & Mark Dipko
Proud Parents of Wyatt

PS: Please give what you can to support a child, a family and a community. Send your donation to UCP-OC today!

Golf Tournament Update!

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County 18th Annual Life Without Limits Autumn Golf Classic is a GREAT Fun-draising Success!

Golfers supporting UCP-OC enjoyed a beautiful day of golf and fun on October 22, 2012 at the Life Without Limits Golf Tournament raising over $130,000. Three-time tournament champions Team Voit Real Estate Services/Pekarcik & Vittone included Daniel Vittone, Mike Skochinski, Chris Zamora and Jeff Griffith. Golfing in traditional Scottish kilts, the team shot a 56!

Founding sponsor DLD Insurance Brokers Inc./ CEO Dana Dowers co-founded this tournament nearly 20 years ago with Chris Dubia. Scott Pievac, CEO of SPC Retail Display Group, later combined his golf fundraiser The Brianna Cup that honors his daugher.

UCP-OC’s Brianna Pievac and Reo Kobayashi made a special appeal at the Awards Banquet. Brianna spoke with Reo and guests through her iPad sharing their message of living a Life Without Limits.

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Dana Dowers: Philanthropist, Golfer and Community Leader

Dana Dowers, CEO of DLD Insurance Brokers Inc., has been actively involved with United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) for more than 20 years.  He was originally introduced to UCP-OC by his good friend Chris Dubia.  Together, they initiated the idea of starting a Golf Tournament which would bring in monetary support for UCP-OC.  Today, the Golf Tournament is one of UCP-OC’s major fundraising events and has raised nearly $2 million since its inception. It was three years ago that Dana joined forces with Scott Pievac who combined his Brianna Cup tournament with UCP-OC’s Life Without Limits golf tournament to make a greater community impact.  DLD Insurance Brokers Inc. is the founding sponsor and generously continues to financially support the tournament.

Dana’s heartfelt passion for the special needs community spurred at an early age with his experiences with a classmate who had cerebral palsy. He was truly moved when he saw how far his assistance helped in making an impact in his classmate’s daily life. “Life is incredibly difficult for families of children with disabilities and I only hope that my support will impact their quality of life and serve as inspiration for other individuals and businesses to get involved,” says Dowers.

Additionally, years later Dana’s friendship with Chris Dubia’s son, Brian, allowed him to see how a life without limits is not only possible but can lead to self-sufficiency in adulthood if supported through the programs and services that UCP-OC is providing in the community.

“I am encouraged by the fiscal responsibility of UCP-OC, as well as Cathy Collins’ leadership which is a tell tale sign of where we are headed in the future. In a time where many organizations are struggling, UCP-OC is coming up with innovative programs, such as their vision program, and making a tangible difference in the lives of children with special needs.”

Dana has many memories from the past 17 years of the Golf Tournament, however his favorite memories come at the end of the day when the tournament is over. “After every tournament I leave with the overwhelming knowledge that DLD’s support helped make a difference in the life of a child with disabilities.  That’s pretty priceless!” says Dowers.