UCP-OC 2014 Life Without Limits Gala Video

Recent studies show a staggering statistic that 1 in 6 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a developmental disability. UCP-OC proudly serves the 1 in 6 children in our community that make up this statistic.


Learn more about the services UCP-OC provides:


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.

Life Without Limits Gala: through the eyes of a child

Our Life Without Limits Gala is next week!


When: Saturday, April 28th 2012

Where: Balboa Bay Club and Resort, Newport Beach

Why: This is our key fundraising event of the year! Come and support our organization and children with disabilities.


Our Annual Gala will be held next Saturday, April 28th at the Balboa Bay Club and Resort. The evening will start at 6:00pm with a cocktail reception, followed by a dinner and live auction as well as music and live entertainment.

UCP-OC will honor James V. Mazzo, President of Abbot Medical Optics, for his resounding leadership and for supporting our collaborative efforts to bring about the United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County Early CVI Screening Program Collaboration with The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute of UC Irvine. The Vision Program is aimed at improving the diagnosis and rehabilitation of infants at risk for vision complications associated with CP as well as premature infants at risk for cortical visual impairment and decreased central vision resulting from prematurity.

It’s not too late to sign up! www.ucp-oc.org/gala

Make sure to check out our sneak peek of our Live Auction items on the website (link above)

We wouldn’t have been able to put on this amazing event if it wasn’t for our many sponsors!

Kodak Moment!

For the month of April, we are having a very special Facebook Photo Contest!

During April, Autism Awareness Month, UCP-OC is partnering with Grandma Lucy’s premier pet food and will be raffling off a basket filled with Grandma Lucy’s all organic pet food and treats.

Here’s how you can enter:

1.      Post a picture of your child and your pet on our Facebook homepage.

2.      In the caption, comment on how UCP-OC has made a life without limits possible for your child.

3. You can also post a picture from online with a caption saying how UCP-OC makes a life without limits.

At the end of April, we will choose one winner who will receive this gift as well as an article dedicated to you in our blog!

The owner’s of Grandma Lucy’s, Eric and Breann Shook, have an amazing son who comes to UCP-OC for therapy and receives care from one of our inclusion facilitators to help him with school work. They have generously agreed to sponsor this event as well as donate 10% of their online sales to UCP-OC! Follow the link to start ordering!   http://www.grandmalucys.com/retail/

We would like to thank Eric, Breann and Hunter’s Grandma Tracie from the bottom of our hearts for their continued support of UCP-OC for generously donating to us as well as help spread the word about our organization.

Please support UCP-OC and all the families we help each and every day!

Final Holiday Fundraising Update

Happy New Year UCP-OC families!

I hope you all had a relaxing holiday that was filled with copious amounts of food and fantastic memories with family and friends. After spending time with my family, I returned to our office only to be humbled by the response of our holiday letter.

This holiday season we were blessed to work with an incredible family with a very special 2 year-old boy named Granden. Many of you that come to our facility have had the pleasure of meeting this dynamic boy running around our lobby. Even after meeting with the family, seeing Granden on a daily basis and working countless hours on the video and letter I am still touched every time I run into him and he yells “hi!” at me. He, and so many of the children that come to UCP-OC, have made my time as the Marketing and Development Coordinator here so memorable and special. I am so thankful for the daily reminder of the big picture of why we are here. UCP-OC exists so that children can reach their full potential and live the quality of life that every parent hopes for their child. The overwhelming response to our Holiday Letter about Granden shows that others believe in our cause as well and are ready to support us.  

So, with no further ado, I have the pleasure of sharing the wonderful news of the outcome of our Holiday Fundraising! Thanks to the generosity of our many supportive families, staff and donors we were able to bring in a record-breaking:


This has brought us so much closer to our Annual Giving goal of $40,000 and our Organization’s goal of $1.3 million to continue serving the children in Orange County.

 Thank you for your continued support of UCP-OC.


Elizabeth Wylie, and the entire UCP-OC Staff

If you did not have the opportunity to see the video of Granden that spoke to the hearts of our many families and donors you can view it below or on our website www.ucp-oc.org/getinvolved/granden.

Holiday Fundraising Update

Thank You!

It has officially been 1 month since we kicked off our Holiday Campaign, and we have been humbled by the incredible support and gifts our families and past donors have shown.

So far a total of 45 families have contributed, and we have received $18,000 through the generosity of those who were touched by Granden’s family’s story. Just today we received a very generous gift of $10,000!

If you have not had the opportunity to see the family’s video I would like to invite you to view it below. Thank you for your continued support of our organization. Please consider making a year-end donation to UCP-OC, any amount that is meaningful to you is greatly appreciated.

*to make a tax-deductible year-end gift please click here.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can get involved at UCP-OC please don’t hesitate to ask me.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Wylie


Child of the Month: December


Granden, like many of our children, is thriving due to UCP-OC’s Early Intervention. As the video says, Granden has Jeune Syndrome. Juene Syndrome affects the growth of long bones, your limbs and ribs, resulting with a dwarfism in the limbs. With daunting odds, there was a point in time his parents feared that they would not see Granden reach his second birthday. Granden is more than his disability, he is a joy to be around and brings entertainment to all that come in contact with him. Just as Geri Kate says in the video, he has a certain energy about him. Granden has stolen all of our hearts at UCP-OC and we have loved watching him grow and excel in his therapy sessions at our Life Without Limits Therapy Center.

This year Granden has celebrated his birthday, and is cruising towards his third birthday entertaining us along the way!

We thank you all for your support of UCP-OC throughout the years, and ask that you please remember us in your year-end giving this year. Every gift makes a difference, just $15 could cover the cost of art supplies for a child in our art class!

 You can see more pictures of Granden, along with make a donation at www.ucp-oc.org/getinvolved/granden.

Our Holiday Story: Granden

New Year’s brings memories of laughter, family and celebration. It’s not a time where one expects to hear “Your child has Jeune Syndrome,” a rare genetic disease where 60% of cases do not live past the age of two. However, on New Year’s Eve 2009 Frank and Geri Kate heard this news, and were faced with the daunting odds, that their baby boy, Granden, would not live past two.

“There is fear in uncertainty” Geri Kate, Granden’s mother, recalls thinking on that fateful evening. From that moment on their life has been a race to provide Granden with the services and therapy he needs to not only survive, but to thrive.

  Jeune Syndrome affects the growth of long bones, limbs and ribs. This can have serious side effects, and for Granden it has resulted in a restrictive lung disorder. His small rib cage restricts his lungs from expanding, causing him to tire easily and averting him from crawling. This crowding of his organs has also caused a reflux creating an aversion to food. Just 3 months-old, and Granden was diagnosed with a failure to thrive.

  Seeking Answers, Regional Center directed Frank and Geri Kate to United Cerebral Palsy, UCP-OC, for Early Intervention, education and family support. Due to many delays in his motor development and his inability to roll over, UCP-OC’s therapy team initially evaluated 8 month-old Granden with the physical ability of a 2 month-old. With Granden’s failure to thrive affecting his health, the team at UCP-OC acted immediately. 

This year  Granden has celebrated his second birthday, and graduated physical therapy at UCP-OC!  He is an active thriving typical toddler who loves to run, climb and explore.  Each milestone  enables his family to celebrate a longer, happier and more healthful future for Granden!  

It is often complex for parents to navigate the fragmented system of care for children with special needs.  UCP-OC helps to simplify the process for parents like Geri Kate and Frank by providing access to comprehensive services in one location.  Since 1954, UCP-OC has ensured that dreams are met, talents are explored and stories of children living a life without limits are told.


“We are giving back to UCP-OC this holiday season in gratitude for the difference they have made in our family’s life. UCP-OC is helping Granden beat the odds. We’re all working together to help our son live a Life Without Limits.”

– Frank and Geri Kate

Continued deep budget cuts have lead to a lack of funding for Early Intervention programs across California. Without your support these critical programs that help children like Granden will not continue. Every child deserves to live a Life Without Limits, and your donation will help make this happen.

By sending in your gift or going online at http://www.ucp-oc.org/UCP/Granden_Donate.php?type=default, you can make an impact on a child’s life today.  

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

Make sure to view Granden’s Story via video on our website.