Marna Bellande via Crowdrise
January 27, 2012
BENEFITING: THE BELL CENTER FOR EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAMS
Nicki Goodwin wrote -
Thomas Summers came into this world as a seemingly healthy beautiful baby boy to the proud parents of Stuart and Chris, big sis Anna Lauren, and big brother Forest. However, at 6 weeks old, his parents learned that this sweet boy was suffering from almost constant seizures caused by a rare condition called Tuburous Sclerosis. To make the seizures stop and allow Thomas to grow and develop properly, Thomas had to have half of his brain disconnected! This scary procedure was performed at Children's Hospital of Alabama by Dr. Jeff Blount. It was here that I had the privilege of meeting this precious baby and his family when I was chosen to be his nurse the day before surgery and the day of his baptism in the hospital's chapel. I'll never forget talking to his mother about what to expect following surgery, as well as, when he got home and the options available for assistance to help reach all his milestones. I was so exicted to be able to share my own personal experience and success story about the Bell Center for Early Intervention as my now 3 1/2 year old daughter, Preslee, is also a child with a condition causing developmental delay (Down Syndrome) and now a proud graduate of the program.
Thomas began The Bell Center soon after he was able to come home following a very successful surgery and has since made incredible progress. It's nothing short of a miracle and a combination of his hard work and his parent's dedication when you see what all he can do today at almost 2 years old... you have to be reminded he only has HALF of a brain to work with too! SIMPLY AMAZING! Looking at this little blessing, some may not notice what obstacles he has had to overcome as the scars continues to fade day by day and a great deal of this progress is due to these miracle makers of The Bell Center. They provide services including occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy, as well as a special education teacher assigned to each child. Although monthly tuition is often required, it is a minuscule amount compared to the millions it costs the facility to operate each year. I have decided to run again this year in the Mercedes Marathon to support The Bell Center (their largest fundraiser of the year) and this year in honor of Thomas. This is where you gracious people come in... PLEASE support this program so they may continue to provide these services to help children such as Thomas and my daughter that need all the help they can get to reach their maximum potential and be given opportunities to learn, run, play, and develop as their "typical" peers do!!! Donations of ANY size are greatly appreciated.
May God Bless you all for your generosity and these "special" children and staff of The Bell Center!