On Saturday, June 1, I’ll be participating side by side with thousands of people dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities at the 2013 Central Park Challenge. On that day I’ll be joining the movement of the YAI Network, an agency dedicated to seeing beyond disability and helping all individuals reach their potential and live the fullest life possible. I have been a board member at YAI for 10 years, well before my own children would end up receiving Early Intervention therapies (speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy) from YAI and its staff. YAI helped my children, literally, learn to walk, talk, and play. For years, YAI therapists came to our house or met us at the playground multiple times each week–sometimes as early as 7:15am–to help my children catch up meeting their milestones (our doctors predicted that without these therapies, for example, that our daughter might not walk until after age 2, or that our son may never speak intelligibly). YAI therapists’ dedication to my children–and their friendship and support of us as a family to this day with all we have gone through–has meant everything to me. Please read more of our personal story via our personal fundraising page where you can make an online donation. We have already raised over $1000. Every amount–even just $5–is greatly appreciated and will go directly to help families with children with special needs.
YAI builds brighter futures every day for people of all ages affected by all levels and types of disabilities. Please consider making a donation of any amount to help them continue their important mission, especially in the face of continued government cutbacks for programs for people with special needs.
Above: My son, at age 4, after winning the race for his age division at the Central Park Challenge in 2011.