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
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.