Stephen's Story

Friends, family, Stephen is a 6 year old boy that has autism. He lives in the rural mountains of El Salvador.  His story is sad, but you wouldn't know it when he looks at you and smiles. Stephen's mom abandoned him as he became too much of a burden for her, and he now lives with his grandmother (father not present). His grandmother has multiple mouths to feed but always manages to do her best for Stephen. She said "Stephen is a gift from God." He is a highly valued member of his family despite the developmental delays that have caused financial stress. 

Stephen is non-verbal, has limited mobility, and is incontinent. He has gastrointestinal issues that cause frequent bowel movements. Practically, there is barely enough income for food, diapers are not top priority, and often times Stephen goes about his day without bottoms on so that he doesn't soil his clothes. He has difficulty swallowing at times, which causes him to aspirate. His grandmother explained that often times his stomach is upset which limits his diet. She gives him milk as his primary source of food. 
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His grandmother used to take him to a feeding program down the mountain, but as she has aged, it has become more difficult for her to carry him down the mountain. Since he is too heavy to carry down the mountain she has not been able to take him to the free medical clinic for examination (the one that I worked with during my time there). Stephen has the use of his hands and is able to take steps if you hold him up by his hands. Otherwise he scrambles around on all fours to get to where he wants to go. 
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I asked his grandma what she did for work, and she said she fishes. She uses a cast net to catch fish from the lake to sell on the side of the road. She said if "I catch fish then we have money for food." She said it's been more difficult to get to the lake as she can't leave Stephen. Sometimes the neighbor or cousins will keep an eye on him and that is when she will go to work. 
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Something that she somberly asked was, "what is going to happen to Stephen when I am no longer here? Who is going to take care of him?" I work with families that have children with autism, and that daunting question is one that I hear over and over again. Can you imagine asking that question all while being in a developing country with no resources available? 

It broke my heart, it broke my team's heart. My desire is to see every child with developmental delays reach their full potential and live as independently as possible. This is why I tell Stephen's story. He needs our help. If you feel it in your heart to give, I have the breakdown of expenses listed below. It will not go to waste.

There are 3 main mobility devices:
An adaptable stroller to get Stephen down the mountain to get medical help and attend the feeding program

29452046_15247917160_r.jpegAdaptive Star Axiom Improv Indoor/Outdoor Mobility Push Chair $1,279.98 

A posterior walker to help him strengthen his legs at home and learn to stand on his own

29452046_15247917560_r.jpegNimbo Rehab Lightweight Posterior Posture Walker with Seat, Youth, Cornflower Blue $234.86 

Forearm crutches to grow into and to help him be more independent

29452046_15247917920_r.jpegMedline Forearm Crutch, 4 ft 2" to 5 ft 2" H, Youth $50

I will personally deliver the donations to Stephen's house on the mountain and I will teach his grandmother how to best use the equipment and nutrients. 

**GOAL: raised funds by JUNE 2, 2018**

If anyone has connections with any on the following companies, donations would be greatly appreciated!
Nimbo Rehab
Medline
Tadpole adaptive
PediaSmart 
Culturelle
Spirit Airlines


Adaptive Star Axiom Improv Indoor/Outdoor Mobility Push Chair $1,279.98 https://bit.ly/2Fj7y9V 

Plastic seat covers $15 https://amzn.to/2KiHWxE 

Nimbo Rehab Lightweight Posterior Posture Walker with Seat, Youth, Cornflower Blue $234.86         
https://bit.ly/2HSWyp4  

Medline Forearm Crutch, 4 ft 2" to 5 ft 2" H, Youth $50
https://bit.ly/2HWabUq 

Nutrition/GI health $900
$584 (8, packs of 6) PediaSmart Organic SOY Vanilla Complete Nutrition Beverage Powder, 12.7 Ounce (Pack of 6) https://amzn.to/2KgG5sY 

 $189 (12 monthly packs) Culturelle Kids Packets Regularity Gentle-Go Formula, Once Per Day Dietary Supplement, Contains Lactobacillus https://amzn.to/2r2sTz6 

 $120 food $10/month for family food supply:  rice beans oil flour salt seasoning (purchased in El Salvador)

Airfare + Transportation $500-700 (dependent upon flight availability/rates) 

            $353 1 round trip (Spirit airlines)

            checked bag 1 $35 (Adaptable stroller, misc)

            checked bag 2 $45 (Posterior walker, misc)

            checked bag 3 $86 (Nutrition X 8 cases, misc)
 
Easy to clean bibs $20  https://amzn.to/2r2rmKk 

Clothing $100 (purchased in El Salvador)

Diapers $400 (purchased in El Salvador) 

Estimated $3750 total

(If there are any extra funds, they will go towards more food and clothing for Stephen that will be purchased in El Salvador).


Full video: 

Donations

  • Derek Gagne 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Phiphop Sengchanh 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Breanna Lewis 
    • $15 
    • 14 mos
  • Dustin Geile 
    • $50 
    • 17 mos
  • Marian Hinton 
    • $100 
    • 20 mos
See all

Fundraising team (3)

Bri Andrassy 
Organizer
Raised $1,195 from 32 donations
West Palm Beach, FL
Brooke Bragenzer 
Team member
Raised $215 from 5 donations
Robbie Andrassy 
Team member
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