We are so grateful to all who made out 21st Annual Autumn Golf Classic a huge success! Special thanks to our committee, Chris Deason, Dennis Kuhl, Michael Marshall, Michele Maryott, Blair Minnis, and Scott Pievac, and all of our sponsors, who are recognized in the ad. Shoutout to our top sponsors: D.L.D. Insurance Brokers, Inc., the Dubia Family Foundation, Nancy & Geoffrey L. Stack Family Foundation, Lateef Invesment Management, Angels Baseball, City National Bank, Gibson Dunn, Brian Maryott at Wells Fargo Advisors, KPMG, and Select Staffing.
In honor of STEPtember, which starts today, we’re highlighting Carter, an absolutely adorable two-and-a-half-year-old with global developmental delay who receives physical, occupational and speech therapy and participates in Talk Play Learn group at UCP-OC. His family has committed to walk 10,000 steps per day from September 2-29 to raise funds and awareness for UCP-OC.
At two months of age, Carter’s parents, Melissa and Brian, together with his pediatrician, noticed his visual impairment, At four months, when his vision had not improved, he began wearing glasses to correct his vision and started therapy to help him reach developmental milestones. His impaired vision has led to some considerable delays for Carter, but this happy, tenacious little guy doesn’t mind hard work. Melissa shared that “Carter has made significant strides in all areas of his development with the help of his team at UCP-OC. As a parent, every trip to UCP-OC is my favorite, because upon arrival, Carter can hardly contain his excitement because he knows where he is headed. This reaction alone is remarkable for our family.”
“While typical children are scheduling play dates and other activities, our children’s lives are about therapies. I say children’s because Carter’s little brother Jackson, who is 10 months old, attends every session. We spend a lot of time at UCP-OC and are grateful it is a home away from home for us. The support and love we receive from everyone is amazing. UCP-OC has really given our son a great opportunity to reach a Life Without Limits,” said Melissa.
Some of Carter’s favorite things include swimming, going for walks, spending any moment possible with our whole family, playing with his little brother and bath time.
His therapists Vanessa and Jenn recently took Carter to the park for a co-treatment session in celebration of all he has accomplished in the last few months. By having multiple disciplines all under one roof, UCP-OC’s team of exceptional therapists and child development professionals work together to ensure each child has the services needed to reach their full potential. Carter also receives speech therapy one-on-one with Megan and in group with Pati. Jenn shared “I am so proud to have such an incredible group of co-workers like Vanessa, Megan, and Pati and kiddos like Carter that continue to amaze me every day. It’s the teamwork that makes the dream work!”
Carter still has work to do catch up developmentally, but he is making great progress and has the support he needs to do so. We can’t wait to see what he will do next! As Melissa said, “he is our biggest inspiration and driving force. If Carter can do it, it can be done. ” And Carter has proven he can do anything he puts his mind to.
Carter and his family are Stepping Up for UCP-OC so that children like Carter have access to the services they need to thrive. Join in this Steptember to improve your health and wellness and help children with disabilities live a Life Without Limits. Create a team of 4 and challenge yourself to take 10,000 steps per day until September 29. Or show your support of Carter’s family by making a donation in their name here.
At UCP-OC, our mission to help children with disabilities reach their full potential, improve the quality of life for their families, and foster an attitude of acceptance and inclusion is central to everything we do. One of the ways we strive toward this mission on a daily basis is through our Inclusive Childcare program.
Children with special needs can thrive in traditional after-school settings like the Boys & Girls Club, but often require extra help in order to do so. With the support of Inclusive Childcare, children receive the individualized attention they need to participate in their local after-school program so their parents can work to support the family.
Kimberly, age thirteen, has Down syndrome and is deaf. When she first joined our program, she was struggling to participate in her after-school program, but our Inclusion Team knew that with proper support and continued encouragement, Kimberly had the potential for full inclusion in a typical after-school program.
Nearly seven years later, we have been able to watch Kimberly grow into a strong and independent young teenager who now enjoys every activity available to her. In fact, she has become an exemplary participant at the club, which is why she was named their Member of the Month for June 2015!
The program has also been of great benefit to Kimberly’s mother, Christa, who works full time. She has the peace of mind on a daily basis that her daughter is in a safe and supportive environment, allowing her to focus on work responsibilities in order to provide for her family. She shared “I am so proud of Kimberly’s recognition and know she couldn’t have done it without UCP-OC. The Inclusive Childcare program has really helped her to blossom.”
March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, and March 25 is National CP Awareness Day. It also happens to be Developmental Disabilities Month. In celebration of this important month, we invite you to take a moment to share with your friends, family and co-workers why UCP-OC is important to you. #cerebralpalsycan #CPawareness #LifeWithoutLimits #DDaware
Three year old twins Khloe and Teagan have always been good sharers. In fact, they were so good at sharing their mother, Jasmyn’s, womb, that doctors didn’t know there were two babies until 24 weeks into the pregnancy. The girls were born at 37 weeks, just two ounces apart, despite twin-to-twin transfusion, which often results in one baby being much smaller than the other. Both girls appeared to be very healthy, until six months later, when it became clear that there were developmental differences between the two girls.
Khloe was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of the stroke she suffered near birth. Luckily, Khloe’s symptoms are mild to moderate, and with her go-getter personality, she has made exceptional progress through United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County’s multi-disciplinary pediatric therapy. Khloe has received physical, occupational, and speech therapy at UCP-OC for more than a year and a half and she has shown tremendous improvement. In fact, Khloe is walking and talking much like her sister Teagan – it just takes a little more effort. She even attends the same preschool as her sister.
“UCP-OC gave us hope that, with a lot of hard work, Khloe could do everything Teagan can. With treatment and encouragement from her team of therapists, Khloe is not only achieving developmental milestones, but she also has built up incredible confidence with each obstacle she overcomes.” – Jasmyn, Khloe and Teagan’s Mother
All of us at United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County are grateful for the opportunity to help children with disabilities to achieve their full potential, and we couldn’t do it without support from our community. Two-and-a-half-year-old Tosh is an example of the tremendous impact UCP-OC has on children born with or at risk for developing a disability. Tosh’s birth was far from typical. He was delivered stillborn by emergency C-section after an Amniotic Fluid Embolism took his mother’s life. Miraculously, doctors were able to resuscitate him, but little Tosh spent the first three weeks of his life in the NICU faced with a variety of health issues related to his traumatic birth, including a very high risk for cerebral palsy.
When Tosh was released from the hospital, his father Jody was referred to UCP-OC immediately for early intervention therapy. Tosh received weekly therapy sessions at UCP-OC for a year and a half which focused on strengthening his body to sit, crawl, stand, and eventually walk. Progress was slow at first, but through the dedication of his therapist and Jody’s commitment to his son’s progress, this Miracle Baby has done it again – he “graduated” from our therapy program. He is now considered developmentally typical – walking, talking, and functioning as his two-and-a-half-year-old peers do.
“Without UCP-OC I have no doubt Tosh would have significant developmental delays today. I am grateful every day for the care and treatment UCP-OC has provided to our family.” – Jody
UCP-OC not only provides top-quality care for children with disabilities, like Tosh, but is also an invaluable resource for parents, like Jody. No husband and first-time father expects to mourn the passing of his beloved wife on the same day he celebrates the birth of his son. Add to that the challenges Tosh faced for his own survival, and you can see what an incredibly difficult situation Jody was experiencing. Jody says that “throughout the entire process, I always knew UCP-OC was my partner in caring for Tosh. UCP-OC was a home to us, and the staff a part of our family.” Tosh’s success would not be possible without your support.