29 May 2013

Over 44 years ago, Eunice Kennedy Shriver had a vision to help people with disabilities discover what they can do instead of dwelling on what they could not do.  Her first step came in the form of a summer camp for young people in her own backyard.  Her drive for opportunity eventually grew into the Special Olympics movement, now the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with differing abilities, serving more than 4 million athletes in 170 countries.

Last Thursday, Conrad participated in the annual Special Olympics Field Day.  Emma Matthews and Sam Hodgson were selected to attend based on their compassion and friendship with our Special Olympian. Emma and Sam have been a steadfast and encouraging presence in Conrad’s life since they met in first grade. I believe that if Ms. Shriver were alive today, she would feel pride that the honor was placed and so graciously received by these kids.

Many of Conrad’s peers use their creativity and hearts to include Conrad in activities.  Their resourcefulness challenges me to continue to overturn the stones in the quest to help Conrad and other children  like him to reach their maximum potential – no limits!

One step we have taken is to collaborate with an organization called Hope4JD (https://www.hope4jd.org) to develop the Nonfatal Drowning Registry and Network (www.nonfataldrowningregistry.org).  The mission is to advance the understanding of anoxic brain injury and encourage development of treatments and interventions that promote a healthy and productive life for all people who survive a drowning accident.  Our goal is to register ALL nonfatal drownings to help quantify the impact of the condition and give power to our voice.

Thank you Ms. Shriver for the demonstrating the power of taking a vision to reality.  And thank you to all the people, young and old”er”, who bring joy and laughter to our journey.

Enjoy the photos!

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