Easterseals West Kentucky
An infectious smile and a big personality is the only way to describe Bella, the child representative from Easterseals West Kentucky for the 63rd Annual Lions Club/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars.
Bella was born with a rare syndrome called Koolen-de vries syndrome. Koolen-de vries syndrome, also known as Koolen syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by developmental delay and mild to moderate intellectual disability. People with this disorder typically have a disposition that is described as cheerful, sociable, and cooperative. They usually have weak muscle tone (hypotonia) in childhood. About half have recurrent seizures (epilepsy). The syndrome affects her heart, kidneys, and brain.
Despite all of Bella's health issues, she is a happy child who is always smiling. Bella makes friends, young and old, very easily. It all starts with her smile and outgoing personality. Soon all those around her are smiling and taken in by such a beautiful, sweet child.
Bella has been attending the Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) program, also known as the Lily Pad, for over a year. The Lily Pad is medical-model child development center that allows children with more complex medical needs to play and learn with other children their age. Mandy Heal, Bella's mother tells us, "They have been a huge part of her reaching milestones. It's great to see their excitement when she learns something new!"
The Lily Pad provides a level of comfort for parents that no other child development center in this area can do. Parents can leave their child to go to work or school and know they are being cared for by nurses, certified nurse's aides, and teachers. "When Bella was about eight months old she had her very first seizure while she was at the Lily Pad," shares Mandy. "That day was one of the scariest days of my life, but I found comfort knowing she was with the people who love her just as much as I do. We are very thankful for them and how they are invested in Bella's progress."
The Lily Pad provides a unique approach to child care. Easterseals West Kentucky was excited to bring the first PPEC program to western Kentucky. But this program would not be possible without the generosity of those in our community. Through the Lions Club/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars, your donation will help Bella and her friends at the Lily Pad thrive and reach their highest potential. Your donation is helping to give them a strong start to a bright future!
Visitors to the Easterseals West Kentucky Adult Services Center are often greeted with warm welcome and smile by Gajarah! Her smile is contagious and soon the visitor is a friend.hen entering the adult services center at Easter Seals West Kentucky, chances are you will be greeted by Stewart Owsley. Stewart is always ready to meet new people with a hearty handshake and warm greeting. Born with a mild intellectual disability and cerebral palsy, he doesn't let life slow him down.
Gajarah was diagnosed at an early age with a mild intellectual disability and cerebral palsy. She has never let the effects of these diagnoses slow her down. Gajarah has been attending the Adult Day Training Program at Easterseals West Kentucky for over 10 years. She is a member of the Easterseals Choir, with whom she has performed on multiple Telethon of Stars productions. Gajarah also enjoys singing karaoke, crafts, and cooking class. She participates in life skills classes to maximize her independence and gives back to the community by volunteering her time at local agencies. Gajarah is always ready to share her vocal talents at the annual Easterseals Talent Show! But most of all, Gajarah likes helping her friends and the staff whenever she can!
Gajarah is also served through the Adult Foster Care (AFC) program at Easterseals West Kentucky. Through this program, Gajarah lives in a private home with another family. It was through this relationship, Gajarah was found to have a life-threatening condition. Her provider was noticing some health issues with Gajarah and found prompt medical care. Gajarah was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Her AFC provider started teaching Gajarah healthy eating habits and encouraged her to participate in an exercise program. As a result, Gajarah has lost a great deal of weight and is living a healthier life-style. Without the individualized care through the AFC program, her condition may have gone unnoticed for much longer, making her recovery much more difficult.
Donations made through the Lions Clubs/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars make great impacts on the lives of individuals living with disabilities in our area. Easterseals West Kentucky is constantly updating programs to meet the ever-changing needs of these individuals. Your support of the Telethon of Stars helps to make these programs stronger, easily accessed, and life-changing. Your support allows Easterseals West Kentucky to encourage independence in all individuals served in the programs and allows maximum community inclusion. Your support makes a difference!!