Child of the Month: June 2013

June 2013: Knightly

Knightly Spring AppealAfter three years of desperately trying to start their family, David and Drexelle learned that they were going to have a baby. “We created a hope for the future and an image of what our children would look like and two days after our son was born it felt as if those were stolen from us” David recalls.

“The nurse picked up our baby, turning him over like a ragdoll, and pinpointed everything on his body that looked like Down syndrome.”

Left with a diagnosis and anxious for a place to go, Regional Center guided the Park family to United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) for in-home early intervention services when Knightly was only 1 month-old. Ana Reyes, UCP-OC’s early intervention specialist, entered the Park’s home and started working with Knightly immediately.

The first years of a child’s life are critical to their development. For a child with special needs early intervention is the main line of defense to remain on the track with their developmental goals. In-home services allow UCP-OC to work on Knightly’s goals in his natural environment using tools at the family’s disposal to stimulate the different areas of global development such as fine and gross motor skills, sensory and tactile stimulation and cognitive development.

For Drexelle, Ana Reyes has not just been a specialist for her child, but has helped her through the grieving process. “I look at her and I am inspired. She sits and listens, and is truly an inspiration. She gives me confidence as a mother that I can do this. Most of all, she loves Knightly and that is a gift, especially in the beginning when we were worried if people would love our son. We mourned for what we thought our child was and now we experience what he really is and how beautiful he is.”

With Ana’s dedication, early intervention and the resources UCP-OC provided the Parks, at 9 months Knightly is now on target to meet all his developmental goals and is learning to crawl. UCP-OC is monitoring his development; and remains vigilant and aware of what services he will need to continue thriving.Park Family 2

“We are giving back to UCP-OC this spring in gratitude for all Ana and the organization have provided our family. With help from UCP-OC, Knightly can fight to have a great life, a Life Without Limits.”
–Drexelle & David Park

In-home therapy is a cornerstone of UCP-OC’s robust 60 year history in Orange County. This service enables UCP-OC to reach families who are unable to leave their home either due to lack of transportation or medical frailty of the child. Of the 4,000 families UCP-OC impacts, 20% of our therapy families receive services in-home. Many of whom are low-income families. Funding for early intervention services continues to be cut and your support is needed to guarantee these families are served.

Your gift will help inspire a mother and father and assist a child in fighting for a Life Without Limits.

By sending in your gift or going online to, you can help build a child’s future.

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

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Life Without Limits Gala 2013

What an event!!

Life Without Limits Gala 2013
LtoR: Gala Co-chair Michele Maryott, Gala Honoree Michael K. Hayde, UCP-OC CEO Cathleen Collins, UCP-OC Board President James Corbett and Gala Co-chair Matthew Maletta

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County marked its 60th year at our annual black tie Life Without Limits gala on May 10th at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.  Their 2013 Impact Award was presented to Michael K. Hayde, CEO of Western National Group, for his leadership in the community and exceptional vision and philanthropic support towards a variety of efforts supporting children and families.

The elegant black tie affair with a 50’s/Rat Pack Supper Club theme, was chaired by  Matthew Maletta, Allergan Vice President/Associate General Counsel and Michele Maryott, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Partner.  Honorary co-chairs and former Impact Awardees were Julia and George Argyros,  David Pyott and his wife Julianna and James V. Mazzo and his wife Kelly. 

Guests were greeted on the red carpet by child ambassadors from United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) which serves children with a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, Down syndrome and developmental delays. 

Once inside the ballroom, guests enjoyed a heartwarming message by teen ambassadors Reo Kobayashi and Brianna Pievac – who used an iPad to communicate with guests.  Azalea Ghotb then eloquently performed a perfect rendition Moon River on the piano to a standing ovation.

After a rousing live auction, UCP-OC Board President Jim Corbett presented Mike Hayde with the Impact Award.  The evening concluded with music and dancing to the Rat Pack sounds of the 1950’s by The House Band.

Event major sponsors include Argyros Family Foundation, Abbott Medical Optics, Fish & Richardson, Rancho Mission Viejo, The Dubia Family Foundation and DLD Insurance.

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County provides vital services that support families of children with disabilities to improve individual well-being from birth through early adulthood. For more than a half a century, United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County has helped children with a wide range of disabilities to lead a Life Without Limits and achieve their full potential and inclusion into society at all levels.

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Life Without Limits Gala Video