Russ Lovell wrote -Our team of golfers and fundraisers were inspired to come together and raise money for Imagination Park in part because of our co-captain, Ivy Alvarado who was helped by Jack's Helping Hand when she was just 16. Ivy's story is one of courage and inspiration. She has agreed to help us in our efforts to raise funds for this amazing organization that helps so many children and their families, as they did Ivy and her family when she was just 16 years old.
On July 20, Ivy collapsed while she was at work. She ran out into the parking to return a Gameboy to a kid who had left it behind in the shop. At some point before she could catch up, her heart stopped. Fortunately Ivy was discovered within minutes. Some kind people administered CPR and once picked up by the ambulance, her heart was revived and she was delivered to French hospital.
After several inconclusive tests an MRI revealed that as a result of cerebral anoxia (severe lack oxygen to the brain), Ivy suffered a stroke in both hemispheres. Though it was a devastating diagnosis, the neurologists didn’t know how severe the brain damage was. Ivy's white matter had sustained the majority of the damage while the grey matter was relatively untouched. What does this mean? Damage to the white matter affects the messages being sent between various parts of the brain and brain stem. This manifests itself in a reduction in motor function. The issues with Ivy's heart where dealt with using a defibrillator to help prevent future attacks.
Today Ivy is doing great. She is in school and progressing every day. Jack’s Helping Hand was very helpful with various travel and therapy expenses during Ivy’s intense treatment.
As parents and grandparents the thought of an incident like this is horrifying. Jack’s Helping Hand provides emotional and financial help to families like Ivy’s in so many ways. And now JHH is building a universally accessible park for people of all abilities that will enhance the emotional, physical and social development of children with special needs, as well as teach compassion and acceptance.
We want to help raise funds to build that park and we’re asking for your help. Please join our effort and our “Team Ivy” by fundraising with us, see options to the right. Or, make a small $10 or $20 donation toward reaching our goal.
We thank you for your consideration.