“Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important
to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every
level. We need to literally “count our blessings,” give thanks for them,
allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity
we already have.” — Shakti Gawain
is Noah's sixth Thanksgiving. His seventh birthday peaking around the
corner. And each holiday season I get to enjoy one of the happiest
souls to have ever been born. Noah doesn't know of the outside
troubles, the struggles that his family endures on his behalf, or feels
sadness for his personal physical circumstances - he only knows that
he's thankful to see mommy in the mornings, or hear his daddy's voice on
the phone when he's missing him, or grateful for a little brother who
helps fetch him toys when he cannot move fast enough, or a loving
grandmother who brings him coloring books from the dollar store.
heart and mind are always in a place of love, understanding and most of
all thankfulness for what he does have. I don't ever feel that Noah
dwells on what he's missing in his life, and if he does, it's occasional
and brief. Most of all I know that Noah acknowledges and comprehends that he is loved beyond all measure and that we'd do anything to make him happy.
year the weather is cold and it's snowing. We're all comfortably
huddled and snuggled in our warm home, with the heavenly aroma of
Thanksgiving turkey cooking. A small feast for four that came to be by
the love from others. And as a special needs parent, I give thanks
for all incredible life blessings we've been given:
*Help from my mom who can occasionally offer me respite care so I can run to the grocery store or to the mailbox.
*Candy treats and care packages from friends across the pond, who continually make me feel loved and cared for.
*Those who send Noah surprises and gifts that make life better, easier and happier.
*Luke - who is the best little brother a child like Noah could ever want or need. I adore his sweet and tender ways.
*Chris, who tirelessly works as hard as he can to help provide for his family and who makes us all the center of his universe.
*My Keurig coffee machine that's hanging in there with me even though I am sure I overuse it daily.
all those who are patient and understanding enough with me to give me
the freedom to express myself without judgment on the best and worst
days special needs parenting has to offer.
And the biggest blessing that we've all been granted the gift of being together.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with an abundance of blessings and appreciation for all that is around you.
There is never a day that doesn't have a type of challenge when you are a
special needs parent. You wake up knowing inevitably each day will be
hard, no matter what comes along. I've grown to accustomed to a level
of acceptance that things are they way they are. Although the
assumption shouldn't be that my acceptance of difficulties means I've
lost the fight in me or that my fierce desire never to give up has
diminished. I do grow weary - how can I not?
over 14 hours on the phone in the last two days added to the care Noah
requires and he attention that Luke demands at his tender young age, I
have moments of feeling lost and without an avenue of successful
direction. It feels a bit like wandering in circles. One problem seems
to branch into several others and before I know it I'm in the middle of
a complicated mess. And this happens far more often than I wish it
did. A cycle to a large degree that keeps repeating itself - just with
the origination of a different problem.
I received notification
in October that due to Obamacare that the health insurance policies for
Luke and myself were being terminated at the end of the year. This
forces us to enroll in another plan by December 15th. I've had a broker
helping me for years trying to navigate the cheapest healthcare plans
she could find for the two of us; Noah receiving Medicaid and his dad
receiving health benefits from work, leaving Luke and I to find private
coverage. The new plans were rolled out and the monthly premiums not
only increased but so did annual out of pocket maximums and
deductibles. Plans pushing us well over $400 monthly for just two
My mind racing for a solution. How to do I
keep us having health insurance that admittedly Luke would certainly
need if he catches a cold or gets an ear infection? And God forbid I
need a doctor so we have to have healthcare coverage as a safety net,
not to mention Obamacare puts in place penalties for those without
coverage. We already are doing without dental care coverage. I put my
face in the palms of my hands, feeling desperate for a solution. And
then I started looking through a pile of papers that I have sitting on
the kitchen island. It's a pile that I keep filled with things I'm
working on, sometimes things for Noah, or for other people in the
special needs community. It's much like a continuous research pile or
things I need to get done. Essentially my special needs in-basket.
Flipping through pages I stumbled on a printout of the IRS Notice
2014-7, 2014-4 I.R.B. 445, issued January 3, 2014.
not readily familiar with the Notice it is a provision that states
certain Medicaid Waiver payments may be excludable from income.
Special needs parents haven't really been sure what to make of this
notice. Does it mean we fall under this category for parental income
CNA under this new rule since we are essentially saving the State money
by caring for them at home and not asking for institutionalized care -
thereby deeming Medicaid and CES income difficulty of care payments and
as a result changing how we file our yearly returns? Some parents
feeling comfortable with the Notice have filed amended returns months
ago, while others like myself have sat on the fence not really truly
understanding the language of the Notice and fearing we could face an
tax audit if we weren't one hundred percent sure.
Yet as my
fingers thumbed through that pile I kept going back to it. Thinking it
would totally change our health insurance predicament and that if we
indeed fell under the umbrella of 2014-7, that Luke would then qualify
for Medicaid alongside Noah and I would be eligible for a tax credit
towards a individual healthcare plan. Something that could save us
hundreds of dollars in healthcare costs for the both of us. I've always
been a person who has to be completely sure before I do something. I'm
not a follower. I'm very careful and calculated about the decisions I
make knowing that everything I do and decide is important and could
effect Noah and even Luke. So, I consulted with other advocates in the
community, and then ultimately picked up the phone and contacted the
actual person at the IRS who wrote the notice. I figured if I confirmed
that I fell within the 2014-7 guidelines from the person who drafted
it, then I'd feel comfortable moving forward. I received that
reassurance by way of that telephone call and then contacted our tax
accountant so she could start the process of amending three years of tax
returns and preparing on how to file our 2015 tax returns, which I hope
will ultimately be our saving grace on obtaining affordable health
Our tax accountant indicated it's fairly easy to
amend for State and Federal taxes based on the 2014-7 Notice, what still
was unclear was how to handle SSI and Medicare tax, which of course
left more calls to the IRS and ultimately trying to reach Employment Tax
Attorneys and Chief who also participated in the drafting of 2014-7.
In the middle of all those phone calls I was spending hours on the phone
and online trying to complete the online application through
Connect4Colorado. Ultimately, the application refused to let me
complete it because as soon as typed in Noah's information the system
recognized he already had Medicaid and terminated the application.
After hours on the phone with Connect4Colorado and their insistence that
they remove Noah from Medicaid status and I simply just "re-apply for
him later" with me demanding they don't do that because Noah would lose
his waiver status and he can't be without Medicaid not even for a
second. I was adamant that wasn't an option just to apply for healthcare
coverage for Luke or myself. A supervisor finally giving me a number
to Peak as Connect4Colorado just is a third party agency. Peak of
course has this standard recording that says their call volume is too
high and call back another time. But you could call every single minute
of the day for the next 30 days and get the same recording. The State
would be better off to simply leave a message saying all attempts to
reach them by phone will be rejected. That's the truth. I'm not even
exaggerating or being sarcastic.
In frustration and near tears,
I call back our broker who I know feels for me but can do nothing since
most brokers refuse to work with the State because the State doesn't
pay them even after many promised payments that are years overdue. She
can't help me but offers me a contact that she found for my local county
with CHP. My last potential avenue for help. I call that person and
immediately get a return call. Incredibly nice, I'm told if I go down
to my county's Medicaid office before 5pm and fill out an application in
person I can bypass Noah's status as already being on Medicaid and the
State will evaluate eligibility just for Luke and myself. I arrive at
4:10pm after lining up care for Noah. It takes a minimum of thirty days
for a determination and I have less than thirty days to beat my
December 15th deadline. The clerk tells me I have to fill it out by
4:30pm (even though they are open until 5pm) I comply and race through
that application speeding through the questions feverishly. My
handwriting clearly an indication of stress and time constraints. I get
back in line at 4:29pm. I made it. With a minute to spare. The two
available clerks where heavily engaged in Spanish-speaking conversations
with the two people they were helping. I patiently waited my turn.
Clerks even smiling and seeming to be overly friendly with the two
people they were helping. I of course having no clue as to the
conversation since I am not fluent in Spanish. I was called to the
window at 4:36pm when it was my turn. Both clerks jointly curt and cold
and instantly their previous smiles for the people ahead of me turned
into instant disdain telling me they were refusing to accept my
application because they told me I had to turn it in by 4:30pm. I said I
was in line at 4:29pm and couldn't help that they were assisting people
before me. One clerk rolled her eyes in my direction as if I was a
pathetic cause in front of her. She said rules were rules. I felt as
if they both were looking down upon me as if I didn't matter. The
little white girl down on her luck filing for government assistance. I
couldn't speak Spanish to gain comradery. I felt desperate, upset and
railroaded intentionally so I pulled the only card I could. Telling
them that I once was a State employee too that had a ton of power when
working for a Judge and that people like them is what gave State
employees a bad rap. Still they refused to accept my application
telling me to walk out the doors of the building and place it a night
box. Something I couldn't do because I had to bring original birth
certificates with me for the application and they had to make copies of
those before I could submit the application. I told her I couldn't come
back that I had to find respite care for Noah - that they had to
understand that I could not just come back. Still with the evil stare
down and no communication she took both birth certificates made copies
that took less than sixty seconds and took my application stamped it in,
and that was the end of that. That's all she had to do. Likely a
total of less than a minute of a clerk's time when they were on a power
play. The State of course I am sure will be in touch demanding more
information to accompany the application for determination at a later
time by mail. I expect the road to be long and hard. And it may or may
no even work out in our favor. But I have to try. I must at all costs
to my emotional and physical well-being continue to try.
left that office holding back any display massive frustration. Finally
letting loose in tears that were freezing and chapping my face as I
walked back to my car. Wondering and yelling at God literally if it
would be too much to ask for just a hand up - just a little help here. I
mean I'm working my fingers to the bone trying to dig us out of all
these problematic situations. It only takes one life altering event to
change things. This spiraling road could happen to any one. A cancer
diagnosis, a catastrophic car accident, the birth of a child with a
life-changing diagnosis. None of us are exempt yet people walk around
like they are. With an attitude that they are now better than I will
ever be. In the eyes of others I am at the bottom of the human pile.
Seen as having no value. My story could be your story. It could be
anyone's. Yet the compassion is never there. It's as if everyone
thinks I don't matter. But I still matter. I still do.
I've slowly been pushing myself to find new homes for all the equipment
Noah has outgrown. And he's outgrown a lot. And when I say outgrown, I
don't mean like how a baby outgrows a toy, or no longer needs a
highchair or a baby bouncy because their gross motor skills have finally
developed. I mean he simply grew too big to fit into any of them, but
still technically needs everything.
I found new loving homes for
all of Noah's adaptive medical equipment that he has gotten too big
for. Most of it boxed up today to go to a home in California to a
family that has adopted four children with special needs who needs
them. A little boy named Thomas will soon be enjoying all of Noah's old things. It's just stuff right? But in reality it's so much more than
just stuff. These things allow children like Noah to participate in the
world around them, it adds to their quality of daily living and life,
and in most cases is completely necessary to meet their caregiving
needs. And while it does my heart a world of good knowing that Noah's
gently used items will help another child, a part of my heart is still
heavy to have to say goodbye to all the things I worked so hard to get
for Noah. All of it out of pocket costs - and it all cost thousands of
dollars to obtain. I looked at it all thinking how hard I worked to get
it all. And I worked really hard. Harder than anyone could ever imagine.
Incurring debt, doing without anything and everything I could do without
to make it happen, even his grandmother using her severance pay for a
$1,700 adaptive chair for him at Christmas.
I think the thing
I'm struggling with is the feeling of starting over. I said goodbye to
two bath chairs, a special needs car seat, an adaptive toddler bike, a
Freedom Concepts Chill Out Chair, Noah's first wheelchair that I fought
so hard to pay for because insurance denied it as a non-medical
necessity, and special needs toddler therapy swings. Admittedly, it's
all been stored in the basement longer than it should have been. In my
mind maybe I imagined that I could still cram his long lanky legs and
tall torso into them, even knowing truthfully there was no real way.
Or maybe I just couldn't get past moving forward and closing that
chapter on Noah's toddler years and all that came along with it. The
biggest roadblock for me was knowing I had to close a chapter on all
these things that were too small for Noah without having the power or
the ability to move forward to replace any of it in larger sizes. And
it's much harder now. Noah's equipment is much more expensive because
larger sizes cost more. And we've used up every resource we had. And
the list of things I need for Noah grows by the day...
needs aren't going to slow down, if anything they are increasing because
what he needs for his age is expanding. I'd be lying if I said I
didn't think about it or it didn't feel like the impossible mission.
But it is just that the impossible mission, for us and for most all
special needs families who are in the same boat we are. And this kind
of thing happens each time our children have a significant growth
spurt. There is only so much growth adjustments that are built into
these pieces of equipment. And eventually at some point you're forced
to start over several times as a child like Noah grows and matures.
Their therapeutic needs and miscellaneous items they need also don't
ever slow down. It's not quite like buying a dinning room set knowing
it will last you twenty years or more.
For now I'm just trying
to focus on knowing soon I'll get to see pictures of a another child using
Noah's former equipment and that things are how they should be. It
should be about helping someone else when you can. And the rest... well
I have to just take it a day at a time as I feel my way through how to
go about trying to start over acquiring all that Noah needs, most of which unfortunately is customized due to his high needs in larger
The holiday season is fast approaching. I'm methodically planning the
timing of the Christmas tree and re-arranging furniture to decorate for
Noah's absolute favorite time of year. Firefly, a special needs
equipment vendor, recently posted a Christmas survey asking special
needs moms what they would put on their Christmas Lists if they could
ask Santa for anything.
Admittedly I was stalled for a really
long time. The problem being is really one of of two things. My
greatest wishes will always be for my child with special needs and two,
there is tremendous guilt with even thinking about what you want because
your wants turn into providing for the needs of your child above all
else. So, I had to really force myself to look at things
hypothetically. Let's just pretend for survey completion sake that all
of the needs of your child are met. He doesn't need equipment, he has
all his therapies paid for... that it's all completely taken care of and
there are no worries. That would take the guilt factor out of
thinking of something for yourself...
I took this practice test
and said if Noah's situation wasn't as financially complicated as it is
and our lives weren't as challenging as they are, what would you really
Special needs parents are really like anyone else.
If you remove that our wishes for our children always come before
ourselves, we'd likely want some of the same things other people want
for Christmas... mostly.
We can dream really big like it'd be
great to have stainless steal appliances and new shutter blinds... you
know the big luxury items that Santa has difficulties stuffing in his
big red back regardless of special needs. Or we can wish for practical
things like gas cards and car restoration and repairs, or we can go
really simple like it'd be great if I could replace my spatula and
non-scratching cooking wisk or could replace my teflon pans that seem to
be flaking and causing me distress as I imagine my children's food
becoming contaminated with fragments of teflon and wishing I had a fancy
stainless steal set of pots and pans. Most parents humbly wishing they
had a moment to feel pretty or get a makeover. I can't remember the
past time I felt pretty anymore. Life has become about pony-tails,
minimal make-up because you can't afford any, shirts that have stains,
are faded and torn, pants with broken buttons and socks with at least
one hole... an entirely new wardrobe from somewhere that is not Walmart
also sounds like a big stretch for Santa.
So what would I put on my Christmas List if I could give myself permission to ask Santa for something without the guilt factor?
personal chef and food delivery service who could help me prepare daily
meals and be tailored to each member of the family's dietary needs.
snow removal service, because there's nothing quite like the stress of
seeing piles of snow laying on top of your child's handicapped ramp and
driveway knowing there's nothing you can do to shovel while caring for
really incredible shopping spree with brand new lavish wardrobe. You know the kind where you didn't
have to think about how much money you owed the bank relative to how
many pennies were in your wallet. The carefree kind of shopping spree
without having to think about looking at a price tag on a sweater you
loved. Knowing you could just have it regardless.
A elegant dress and some place fancy to go and have dinner.
A lifetime gift of endless Starbucks or coffee delivery anytime you needed it... all day long 24 hours a day if need be.
Wedge Boots with Fringe.... (yes I seen you at Kohl's at can't stop thinking about you.)
A pamper package. To a really fancy salon where they made you look and feel like the goodness you know you once were.
exquisite artwork to hang on my bare walls and an free interior
decorator that would re-do the entire house that knew my sense of
covered patio with skylights, because it's a lot of work for me to
clean up Noah's sensory gag stains when the sun hits his eyes.
I'd love place setting of 12 Fiesta Dishes, Bowls, Cups and Flatware... you know the kind that are free from lead and cadmium free glaze so I know that they'd be safe to eat off of.
stainless steal cookware set, with handles that stayed cool to the
touch while cooking and a dutch oven, and cast iron pan, mini cupcake
tins and brand new cooking utensils. Maybe it would be simpler to ask
for a really big Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Certificate!
A new floor cleaner and mop so I didn't have to look like a sad Cinderella cleaning my floor by hand every three days. Gift baskets with endless goodies, delectable treats, pastries, fruits, chocolates, petite cakes and keepsakes... something that put Oprah's yearly gift ideas to shame.
In-home yoga instructor and an in-home gym so I could get totally in shape for the physical demands of special needs parenting.
really plush, expenses paid, all inclusive family vacation resort, with a five star hotel and endless room service to
find my center of gravity again way from therapies, appointments, emails
and phone calls.
I could probably go on and on if I really
tried. It was nice to think about it, if only for the half hour it took
me to write about it. Luke just kicked me in his sleep during his
afternoon nap - a signal that I need to get back to reality and quit
dreaming about all the lovely things I'd love to ask Santa for. And really the most rewarding feeling of the season is giving and not
receiving. Special needs parents never feel short-changed at the
holidays even if there aren't presents under the tree for us. We have
been gifted with the biggest gift already - our children.
Many people in the special needs community have expressed disappointment
that some of my creative ideas that I've submitted on a website called H.A.T.C.H. were rejected for consideration. Some have approached me
with questions of why am I investing time and energy into something that
in their eyes doesn't ever have a chance of being produced. I hope
this post can adequately address some of these questions.
much as I'd like to believe all my ideas are beyond brilliant, the truth
is creativity is subjective and can be very much in the eyes of the
beholder. I know that not all of my ideas are going to find success.
But at the same time I still believe in them. I still think they have
potential. There could be lots of reasons why something doesn't work
out. It could just be timing, there could be financial considerations
behind a decision... and it could be honestly that my idea just wasn't
strong enough to make it all the way. It happens. It happens to the
best and brightest of inventors and idea makers.
Some of the
world's greatest have been met with rejection but that didn't stop
them. Sigmond Freud was booed during a speech where he presented his
ideas and still continued writing anyway. Thomas Edison's teacher
labeled him "too stupid to learn anything," and he went on to invent the
light bulb - even after he failed over 1,000 times with his original
attempts. His most powerful quote "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light
bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."
And I'm viewing my rejected ideas in a totally different light. I didn't fail. Wayne Dyer, in fact suggested that "Failing is a judgment that we humans place on a given action. Rather than judgment, substitute this attitude: You cannot fail, you can only produce results."
Wayne Dyer himself faced rejection trying to get his first book
published and later went on to publish over 40 books with 21 of them
hitting the New York Best Seller List. *Note to self- don't abandon your hopes of publication, if Dyer can do it, so can you!*
happen to believe that I have a lot to offer the special needs
community - and that can look like a lot of different things - and it
does. I juggle a lot behind the scenes most of which people don't even
know I do because I go about it silently, quietly and often as
anonymously as I can because my soul doesn't crave recognition or a
spotlight of gratitude for all that I do. And I still believe in all my
ideas even the ones that are rejected. Maybe I need to fine tune them,
maybe the timing isn't right... maybe those ideas will be born some
other time. Or maybe they'll never happen and I'll come up with
something even bigger and better in its place.
But the main
reason I still keep hatching ideas, even if my ideas are rejected is
because I know that the potential is there for something great. And I
can continue to challenge myself to inspire, create, and grow new ideas,
that someday I may get the chance of making even a bigger difference for the
special needs community. Dare to dream even if those dreams don't
always become a reality. Keep doing it anyway...
some of my most popular ideas and the ones I really loved too, didn't make the cut. I can still post the
Camp n'Go and the Silverdale Saddle up on my wall and say that was my
idea and I am proud of the effort. I know I'm still a winner because I
tried. And Hatching ideas happens to be a lot of fun. Don't be afraid to try. You just never know your idea could be
the one that makes it.
Well here we are years later and Noah's dislike for Halloween
continues. I had hopes - as I always do, that this year will be the
year where the sensory challenges disappear. No such luck. We had a
costume dress rehearsal earlier in the week to make sure everything fit
and was going to work okay. Noah and Luke were sent cute costumes from
Ween Dream, a foundation that assists financially struggling families
and children with special needs with Halloween costumes. Luke was sent
an Iron man costume and Noah's Spiderman. They both really looked super
It's odd to look at a costume on the hanger and think
wow these are huge they'll never fit my little boys. And then realize
that your little boys suddenly aren't so little anymore and grew when
you weren't looking and not only do they fit, but they have no room to
spare. My first clue that Halloween wasn't going to go well was when
Noah glanced at his little brother fully in clothed in his costume and
began to gag at the sight of him. Apparently Spiderman does not like
However, I did think maybe Noah was just having a
moment, he's had a rocky few weeks and I'm trying not to worry, as
special needs children are sometimes just like this. It's an ever
changing and evolving kind of thing. That's why I still one day think
maybe Noah is going to be able to overcome his SPD (or so I hope for his
sake as it is genuinely hard on him.)
Luke being the incredible
little brother that he is - and I really mean that, took off his
costume to make Noah feel better. At the tender age of four he's so
incredibly mature, receptive and understanding. We figured maybe if we
were leaving the house in costume Noah may feel a bit differently about
it all. But that didn't prove to be the case. We opted to put Noah
in a Special Tomato Stroller that we have had for years, thinking it
would be less heavy to carry him up residential stairs. And yes, we
still lift Noah up and down stairs in a wheelchair so that he can
participate. Our bodies I know will hate us later for it. I had
thought about the Upsee, but in the dark I was nervous about not being
able to see where I was walking well. And Noah's Spiderman muscles
would have been hard to cram into his Upsee Harness.
Noah & Family 2015 Pumpkin Carvings
As soon as
costumes were on Noah gagged and threw up. Classic display of how his
sensory processing disorder presents itself. He literally makes himself
sick. We cleaned him up thought maybe it would get better, headed out
the door to our first house. As soon as the neighbor opened their
door, Noah threw up again. Luke didn't even have a chance to utter the
words Trick-or-Treat first. We cleaned him up, went to the second
house - same thing. Door opened Noah threw up. The homeowner worried
asking us if we needed kleenex. No one in the neighborhood has really
met Noah - they see us out an about I'm sure but have no idea that Noah
does this as a sensory defense. So, they probably all thought we were
taking a sick child out trick-or-treating which wasn't the case. By our
fifth door I told Chris to take Noah home and that I'd continue on
alone with Luke so he'd have the experience.
there are two of us in this together so that we can share trying to
balance two children with different abilities and needs. Luke and I on
our 6th house stumbled on a Teal Pumpkin. I certainly didn't ever
expect to see one in my own neighborhood. A teal pumpkin symbolizes a
home that has non-edible treats for children like Noah or who have
special dietary needs and can't eat candy for whatever reason. We were
handed a little bouncy ball for Noah which I put in Noah's candy bag
that I was still carrying around with Luke. It was really nice to see a
teal pumpkin. I guess it's just nice to feel thought of - what about
those like Noah who can only eat purees and can't really eat candy or
chew - they deserve treats too.
There are some that I know who
think that if your child has special needs like a peanut allergy, food
allergy or special needs like Noah who can't consume candy or who have a
gtube should be left home on Halloween because neighbors shouldn't have
to cater to special requests or needs. Homeowners actually getting
offended if a child says "No peanuts please" or a child who can't say
"Trick-or-Treat." It's real and it's sadly still very much happening
even as I wake up today and read about how people's Halloween
experiences went. Yes, maybe we should just keep them home, but we're
trying to give our children this incredible and beautiful childhood just
like typical children get to experience. We want them to have memories
too, not just I got left behind because the world is not a tolerant,
understanding or loving place.
I don't know if door to door
Halloween Trick-Or-Treating is in Noah's future or not next year. I do
know that his sensory challenges can be dangerous for him - especially
if he were to aspirate while trying to recover from one of his gag and
vomit episodes. But I really do hope that the teal pumpkin catches on
even more in years to come. That we see a growing trend of homeowners
wanting to be a part of including all children the best they can.
Here are some great ideas for Teal Pumpkin Treats for those curious about what they might be able to include: Pencils Glow Sticks Playdoh Sidewalk Chalk Stickers Bouncy Balls Halloween Washable Tattoos Activity Books Erasers Stamps Bubbles Crayons Plastic Spider Rings
although this doesn't apply to us specifically because we're now
homeschooling, please give thought to your child's Halloween parties at
school. There are lots of children who can't eat cupcakes and goodies.
Consider doing two treats, a sweet and non-sweet so that everyone can
be included. I know you think it's not important if your child can eat a
treat and why should you have to care about someone else's child... I
get it. I know it can totally put a cramp in your Martha Stewart
perfect party planning. But there are so many of us out there that have
to sit on the sidelines. Think of our children too, they matter I
promise they do.
Noah Mitchell Warden was born December 23, 2008, weighing 9lbs and 1oz by emergency c-section at 8:51am. Noah did not breathe or have a heartbeat for the first 13 minutes of his life. He was taken to Children's Hospital in order to have a procedure done known as brain cooling in attempts to minimize damage caused by perinatal asphyxia. Noah's brain cooled for 72 hours after which time the hospital ran an MRI and an EEG to determine the extent of the damage. Unfortunately, the results came back with devastating news. Noah had suffered "global damage" to his brain. As a result the prognosis was grim. They said Noah would mostly likely never walk, talk, eat or even breathe on his own. Today, Noah has the diagnosis of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy resulting in spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy with athetoid movements. Noah's miracle has brought our story to all of you.