Archive for January, 2012
One of our “epic” children, Lane Hauber, is about to become a celebrity. And like most celebrities, Lane’s road to stardom was not an easy one. Lane was born with the genetic disorder Trisomy 18 (“T18”). T18 causes heart abnormalities, kidney malformations, and other internal organ disorders. Sadly, most fetuses with T18 die in utero and babies born with T18 have a very low rate of survival.
When Lane was born, his prognosis was poor; he was not expected to live until age three. Lane’s mom and dad, Alisha and Alex, are thrilled that Lane not only turned three, but was well enough to celebrate his birthday with a party held outside his home! Lane has defied all odds and his geneticist is including Lane as part of a case study.
To “meet” Lane Hauber tune in to WFAA Channel 8 News, Dallas – Ft. Worth, at 10 pm tonight for a spotlight on T18. Lane’s story gives real meaning to “a star is born”. Happy belated birthday, Lane!
Whether you’re a nurse or a parent, if you’re looking for an opportunity to spend an enjoyable day learning, lunching and sharing information about special needs children, resources and education you may want to check out an upcoming conference in the Houston area. The conference is being sponsored by The Children’s Case Management Coalition (“CCMC”). CCMC’s mission is “to support the health and well-being of our children by providing opportunities for networking, collaboration and education.” Their conference, “Stepping to Achieve Optimal Health and Education” takes place on February 24th and is open to parents and healthcare professionals. For more information on the conference, topics and speakers, please click here. It should be a fun and informative day!
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Autism rates have increased twentyfold in a generation. Author Robert MacNeil states that “Autism now affects more American children than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.” These are truly sobering statistics given the challenges autism presents. For those not familiar with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it is a complex neurodevelopment syndrome, which can include social impairments, difficulty communicating, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. According to the National Institute of Health, ASD occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
As ASD rates have risen, so has the research to understand and address this disorder. While there is no cure, a customized treatment plan, including therapies and behavioral interventions, can be developed to address and improve a child’s specific symptoms. Family-centered therapy may be helpful and in some cases, medication can improve Autism-related symptoms. Our Epic team recommends
the following resource for families dealing with Autism: click here.
Prior to the holidays, a good samaritan, George Brown, contacted one of our Epic branches and said that he wanted to sponsor a family for Christmas. Our branch’s Executive Director contacted the family he selected, the Shavers, and explained Mr. Brown’s offer. The Shavers have two sons. One son receives nursing services from Epic, and both sons are scheduled to receive therapy services. Surely, the Shavers’ life cannot be an easy one. Yet, unbelievably, Mrs. Shaver said that, while she was very grateful for the offer, she knew of a family that was in greater need this year - the Gants. I imagine there are very few people that are as selfless and generous as Mrs. Shaver.
The Gant family has three daughters, ages eleven, three and one. Their three year old daughter has cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. As if that were not enough for one family to bear, the Gant’s one year old daughter has a brain tumor and a malformation of an artery in her brain. Mrs Gant said “the little ones haven’t known anything but doctors and hospitals so they just think that is normal, but my sweet Hannah (age eleven) has felt the impact of all this more than any.”
On the day before Christmas, George “Santa” Brown went to meet the Gant family and brought them a truly extraordinary Christmas. Epic team member Terry Carroll was there to share in the fun and said “there wasn’t a dry eye in the house”. Thanks to the unbelievable kindness of the Shaver family and the generosity of George Brown, the Gant family experienced the joy of Christmas like never before. In expressing their thanks, Mrs. Gant’s mother said “God has blessed us tremendously with his Angels here on Earth. Your family (Mr. Brown) is truly part of the plan that has kept us going strong. The joy and excitement the girls experienced will never be forgotten … I especially appreciate all you did for Hannah as well.”
There are so many amazing pictures from that special day that you’ll want to check out our blog tomorrow. Thank goodness there are people like Mr. Brown and the Shavers. The world is a much better place because of them.
Happy New Year! One of the goals of our blog is to share information in support of medically fragile children and their families. With that in mind, we wanted to let you know that North Texas Kids Magazine is sponsoring a free multi-session Heartwise Telesummit for parents that will focus on best practices for raising happy and health children. To learn more about the presenters and the various topics click here.
Speaking of happy kids … the picture on the right was taken at our Beaumont office’s holiday party. A good time was had by all!
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012! We look forward to sharing the new year with you.