The Jogger

 A few weeks ago, one of our staff members received this heart-warming letter from a family that benefited from our Swap Meet network. A mother was in search for an adult jogger for her daughter with CP, and through our Swap Meet network, a staff member was able to find exactly what she needed. Swap Meet is a resource for our families with used equipment to donate or sell with other families who are looking for discounted equipment for children with special needs.  

For more information on Swap Meet please follow this link:    http://www.ucp-oc.org/UCP/Swap_Meet.php      

Dear Janet,

I guess it all started quite a few months ago when I started looking for an adult size jogger. My middle daughter, Melissa, has CP and uses a wheelchair full-time.  Her older sister, Carrie was diagnosed October 2010 with a very rare and dangerous bone marrow disease called Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis or HLH.  She has been very sick for so long and our family has almost lost her many times.  Carrie used to be a “runner” before she became ill and so to try to support her and bring awareness to her disease many of her friends all over the country have run races in her honor.  She lives in Florida with her husband who is in the Air Force and their three young children.  Currently she needs a bone marrow transplant but they can’t find a match so she is scheduled to go to Texas in February to have a cord blood transplant to try to buy her time until a match hopefully is found. She will be in the hospital from 3 to 6 months away from her family.  Because of all of this, my son David has been training to run a race down in San Diego where he is finishing medical school.  He wanted to be able to include his sister Melissa, but wasn’t sure how to accomplish this.  First he thought he could just push Melissa in her wheelchair as he ran, but we all realized that was very unsteady and dangerous.  Then I remembered that UCP-OC had a “swap meet” site so I decided to try to find an adult size jogger that he could use.  I called and left my request quite a long time ago and honestly had given up on the idea. Realizing how expensive a new one would be I was trying to come up with an alternative.  

Last week I received the nicest call from Janet Winter asking if I was still looking for the jogger.  She had someone who was ready to donate one. I was so excited and Janet set the steps in motion for me to be contacted by the donator.  This lovely lady named Anne called me the next day and we set up the time and location for her to give me the jogger.  We met in her work parking lot and she delivered it to me.  She also met Melissa and we all talked for a long time.  I don’t think she realizes what it means to our family, we feel very helpless sometimes trying to help our sick daughter.  Because of her generosity my son David will be able to push Melissa in many races to raise awareness for HLH and to honor their beloved sister.

I can’t thank Anne and her family enough and also UCP-OC for making it all possible.  Our family looks forward to watching David push Melissa in many races in the future thanks to all of your help.




The Gift of a Stroller

One of the things we like to do on the blog is to share with you stories that parents have given us about their child whose life has been tangibly influenced by UCP-OC. Here is one of those stories..

What a difference a stroller can make in a person’s life! When Jeremy and his family applied to get a much needed new stroller, Regional Center gave them a wheelchair. A stroller is a collapsible, portable, light weight wheelchair that allows an individual to participate in walks, hikes and even runs! Since, the Bacon family does not own a wheelchair-friendly car they were unable to make use of the chair. A wheelchair is very difficult to transport, especially for an active young man.

Through the aid of the Bellows grant, United Cerebral Palsy was able to provide Jeremy with a brand new stroller. The gift got to the family at the perfect time, the day before Jeremy’s graduation at Orange Coast Community College.  Without the new stroller, Jeremy would have had to roll across the stage in his old stroller, one he had out grown by two feet! Not only did Jeremy use the stroller provided at graduation, but he continues to use it daily. He especially enjoys riding around the pier and the park. Thanks to the help of UCP-OC, Jeremy will be able to use this gift for many years to come!

If you have a story you would like to share please email it to Elizabeth, ewylie@ucp-oc.org.

Written by: Ellie