Child of the Month: April 2014

Granden: Impact Update!

Granden age 4For nearly 5 years, Geri Kate and Frank’s life has been a race to provide their son Granden with the services and therapies he needs to not only survive but thrive. Granden’s diagnosis of Jeune syndrome, a rare genetic disorder where nearly 60% of children do not reach the age of two, led his parents to United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC). With the help of UCP-OC’s quick acting Early Intervention team, he graduated from UCP-OC physical therapy, reached his monumental 2nd birthday and now has a more healthful future. Many of you were touched by hearing Granden’s story, and made the pledge to support United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County’s Early Intervention program. Through your generosity, the Early Intervention program is able to serve more than 360 children annually. We sincerely thank you.

Today, two years later, UCP-OC sat down with Geri Kate and asked her for an update on where Granden is today, below is our conversation

UCP-OC: Where is Granden at today and how has UCP-OC helped get Granden to where he is today?

Geri Kate: Granden is a talkative 4 ½ year old about to graduate from UCP-OC speech therapy. UCP-OC’s Feeding Group helped Granden start to feed by mouth and rely less on his feeding tube. With this motivation we entered him into an intensive feeding program, and now he does all feeding by mouth. UCP-OC has been the catalyst to achieving all the milestones he has reached in the past4 years; our experience with UCP-OC has truly been life changing.

 

UCP-OC: What should others know about UCP-OC and how they can make a difference?

Geri Kate: There are many ways to get involved! You can volunteer; as a mother I volunteer on the Parent Guild that assists in fundraising events for the organization. You can sign-up to give a donation monthly; my nieces gave a portion of their allowance to support “Granden’s Cause!” Or, you can even help to fulfill toys and materials on their wish list. A full list of wish list items can be found at www.ucp-oc.org.

 

UCP-OC: We are very grateful for your support, can you share why you & Frank give both financially and of your time?

Geri Kate: UCP-OC has done so much for our family and the community; it is our way of giving back. They have guided Frank & I through the many services, resources and therapies Granden needed and go above and beyond to care for the families and children that walk through their doors.

 

UCP-OC: What is your favorite UCP-OC moment with Granden?

Geri Kate: The moment Granden started walking in physical therapy with our physical therapist at the time, Melanie, was a tearful and very emotional experience that we will never forget. We had fears of him never walking, and instantly we were filled with jubilation, relief and thankfulness for the hard work and dedication shown to Granden.

 

Granden’s original story & video is at: http://www.ucp-oc.org/granden.

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2014 Case for Inclusion

2014 Case for Inclusion Launching Today!
The 2014 Case for Inclusion report is being released today! The annual report tracks the progress of community living standards for Americans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is available online at UCP National’s interactive website. Check it out to see how your state fared this year, how higher-ranking states are achieving their success, and how you can use the Case for Inclusion to advocate for change.