The second annual Rollin’ on the River is being held this year on Saturday, October 20th at the Botanical Gardens. It’s a 5k run, walk and roll helping young children and their families.
When Lizzy and Vinnie were born, they and their parents were faced with unexpected challenges. Thanks to family, friends and the extended family of Mesa Developmental Services Early Childhood Intervention Program, for Lizzy and Vinnie and others like them, there’s hope and the promise of reaching their greatest potential.”
“She had a deviated eye,” said Chad Cutts of his daughter Lizzy. “So we went in to see an eye specialist and they told us to do an MRI and that’s when they discovered that she had the brain tumor.”
A quarter of Lizzy’s brain was removed to get the tumor. Early Childhood Intervention came into the picture while she was still in the hospital. Soon, the therapy teamwork began with amazing results.
“They’ve helped her out tremendously,” Cutts said. “She’s not delayed on her speech anymore. They still work with her hand-eye coordination. They were doing once week, now they moved us out to once a month.”
In fact, Lizzy’s only setback it a loss of peripheral vision on her left side. Lizzy and sister Anna’s proud Grandpa says he and grandma immediately became part of the family therapy and support team and have seen great progress.
“It takes the whole family and just about all the acquaintances that you know,” said Holmes Bassette. “Everyone is involved.”
And of course, they’ll all be there to support her at the upcoming Rollin’ on the River.
“The whole family will be there and hopefully everyone that was on Team Lizzy last year will be there and we’ll have a bigger team this year,” Bassette said.
Alicia Pedroza and her husband moved to Colorado from California leaving behind loving family and friends. When son Vinnie was born and complications developed, MDS became the extended family and support they so needed.
“Vinnie has Kernicterus which is from Jaundice,” Pedroza explained. “His levels got abnormally high and now he has permanent brain damage. But, he’s doing amazing. We started early intervention at three months. So, it has meant a world of a difference because we got to start right away and that’s so important to get your child, if you know something’s wrong to get them in right away and have them come into your home when you’re afraid to go anywhere else.”
Pedroza also speaks highly of the “respite” program which allows her and her husband to have a moment to themselves every once in a while.
Brenda Maw, who runs the therapy program at MDS says the earlier the better for therapy that comes from all directions and all sources.
“The Early Intervention Program is designed to provide services in what are considered natural environments with their natural routines and activities. So, we provide services in the home settings, primarily, in day cares, sometimes in the park,” Maw explained.
Marilee Langfitt with MDS and totally devoted to the children, urges us all to attend the fun Rollin’ on the River for many reasons.
“People who just want to get out and take a nice walk on a fall day and all of the funds from this event go to our children’s programs for children with special needs which have taken huge hits from government funding in the last few years and it’s necessary for us to fund raise for this event,” Langfitt said.
Watching and listening to this group is truly inspiring and puts priorities in place. Need a little motivation to join Rollin’ on the River? You’ve got it right here.
To register to be a part of Rollin' on the River, head on over to the Mesa Developmental Services website registration form here: http://www.mesadev.org/RollinOnRiverForm/Info.aspx