And God was well aware,
You'd need a caring family,
With love enough to share.
And so He sent you to us,
And much to our surprise,
You haven't been a challenge,
But a blessing in disguise.
Your winning smiles and laughter,
The pleasures you impart,
Far outweigh your special needs,
And melt the coldest heart.
We're proud that we've been chosen,
To help you learn and grow,
The job that you have brought us,
Is more than you can know.
A precious gift from Heaven,
A treasure from above,
A child who's taught us many things,
But most of all- "Real Love"
Our precious gift, Elissa, was diagnosed with severe spastic quadripligic cerebral palsy. With that, many of our dreams as first time parents have been crushed. All of the milestones that most parents "ooh" and "ahh" about, will be unknown to us. The doctors have not given us much hope for her as far as walking, talking and living a normal life. Elissa currently has a feeding tube placed, wears glasses, and takes excess amounts of medication to help relieve her acid reflux and her respiratory complications. Elissa also has Von Willenbrand disease, which doesn't allow her blood to clot correctly.
As parents, we were determined to find alternatives to help her. One day, as we were researching the internet, we came across the "Ability Camp" in Canada. A 5 week program where she would be receiving 5-6 hours of intensive therapy daily. The informational video for the Ability Camp showcases the success that children have accomplished thanks to the program. Unfortunately, we did not get the success we were hoping for when approaching our return. However, with the help and support of families met there, we found another center closer to home (Orlando) called CECO. We've been able to attend the past three summers (2[phone redacted]) and have met amazing people full of information and have seen great progress. We are also giving her hypoberics treatments and anything else we find. The main problem with all these programs/therapies is that insurance doesn't pay and Elissa in not getting any financial help from the government. Therefore, we have had to find other means for funding these amazing therapies since this is ongoing .
Thanks to the overwelming amount of information and resources shared by other parents, we have found yet another form of therapy that may benefit Elissa. It is called vita-stem therapy and it is used to help her gain the muscle strength needed to swallow food. It breaks my heart to see her salivate and throw away her pacifier while we eat and know that I can't give her anything. Imagine being told that you can't have that pizza you so much wanted. This center also provides therasuit therapy, which has been proven to be very successful with children that have CP.
Many say I'm crazy for wanting to do so much (there is no $ for everything), but what parent wouldn't move mountains for their child?
Help us help our precious gift from heaven...
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