Arianna's mother Lisa, my sister, has fought diligently for Arianna from the beginning and had Arianna diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 6 months old. The Dr. told her Arianna would never walk, never talk, never sit up on her own and be severely mentally retarded.
Lisa took 2 years off of work and drove 90 minutes one way 4-5 days a week so Arianna could see specialists at Hopkins and she saw every Dr and clinic that was recommended. She started infant massage, craniosacral therapy, horseback riding. From all the appointments and therapy, Arianna can now talk, sit up on her own and even crawl!
At 9 months old Arianna was diagnosed with epilepsy. By 18 months, the epilepsy became life-threatening and Arianna was placed on the ketogenic diet. A diet that is so severe most don't last a month. Arianna stayed on the diet for 8 years and now is relatively seizure free!
Arianna was enrolled in a wonderful program called Infants and Toddlers until she was 3. Therapists came to her home 5 days a week! Arianna made great progress until she entered public school.
At 3, Arianna entered public school. Therapies were close to nothing and she was given the bare minimum. Her mom hired an educational advocate and attorney to try to get more services. Arianna did receive more but not even close to enough. So my sister looked for private schools to place Arianna in. The 1 school in Maryland that was appropriate is 60k a year! The only way to get Arianna there was for the public school to place her. 9 years of battling the public schools and she's not placed and not even close to being placed. The public school's goal is education, not being a functional individual that can walk and dress herself. Arianna currently gets PT 6 times a month for 30 minutes in the school system!!!! It was 4 and my sister fought it. But that's it. This is a travesty.
A miracle happened last year. Lisa found a school that is exactly what Arianna needs and we have all been looking for. A private school that is specifically for children with Cerebral Palsy. Their mission is to assist the children in becoming functional individuals. They teach vital skills such as learning to use the bathroom, getting dressed, feeding yourself, recognizing what is dangerous in the community, and more. They have an intensive program that involves 5 hours of "therapy" 5 days a week. There is a 1:1 student to staff ratio. There is a walking hour every day. Arianna would not be in her wheelchair at all throughout the school day! Some children have walked because of this school! The school is located in Orlando Florida and is only 12k a year! That is what my neice deserves and desperately needs.
Arianna was accepted into their program May 2016. Her start date was August 2016. Lisa was ready to move and relocate her and her childrens lives for Arianna's benefit. Unfortunately, Arianna's father stepped in and went to court. Arianna did not get to go to the school. The judge stated he wanted to hear from Arianna's Dr's from Hopkins in person, in regards to how this school will help Arianna. 3 letters from her Dr's was not sufficient.
So, my sister has been fighting once again to get Arianna this help she desperately needs. She has the Dr's from Hopkins ready to testify among other expert witnesses ready to go. She went to her lawyer to file the case and found out this case will cost 15k. 10k in legal fees and 5-6k for the expert witnesses from Hopkins and video deposition. Lisa doesn't have it nor does any of the family. I am not one to get involved in disagreements between 2 parents, but this is affecting my neices quality of life and future. If Arianna does not get help soon, she will end up in a home. Arianna needs hamstring lengthening surgery which requires intensive therapy afterwards. In the interim, she broke her leg from a fall while visiting her dad and has become even weaker and needs more help. There is no intensive program like this school available in her area. The father's opposition is because the school is far. My sister has asked him to come up with an alternative that is close to home that would replicate services. He came up with nothing. This is why I started this campaign. Arianna needs help. She wants to walk and with help, she will!
Arianna is the most beautiful, caring, selfless child I've ever met. She continually proves that with therapy and more services, she excels. With the Conductive Education Center of Orlando in Florida, I have no doubt that Arianna will walk! She deserves this opportunity. Lisa has told me she is getting ready to sell her car and sell off her business in an attempt to raise money. She already works 2 jobs to care for Arianna and her sister and the business is the majority of her income. Please help me and her family get her there as soon as possible! Any donation or advice is greatly appreciated. Help me give Arianna the life she deserves. Thank you
- Michele Ornelas
- Titi Dary & Grandma
- Colleen Talbott
- Meagan parker
- Frank Maiorana
Organizer and beneficiary
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