Reflections from a CCVI mom

Buddy

Trolley Run is a time of celebration and reflection for me. Celebrating my six year old, brain cancer surviving, epileptic, visually impaired son; reflecting upon how grateful I am to have to CCVI as a part of our family.  In short, they rescued us.

CCVI gave us hope in darkness; strength in fear and anxiety. CCVI’s staff of visually impaired certified teachers, PTs, OTs, and Speech Paths, partnered with us to maximize our son’s potential via specialized, individualized education and therapy. The CCVI social worker opened doors to resources in the community and public education. We’ve connected with other families who have endured tragedy and triumph. 

But, it’s not about us. It’s about our son. It’s about other visually impaired and disabled kiddos in the Kansas City area and beyond. It’s about the kids whose parents drive two to four hours round trip to give their kids the best shot at learning how to participate in a world where 85% of what you learn is through vision, something they lack or is comprised. CCVI is one of a handful of schools in the country specializing in educating our visually impaired kiddos. That education extends beyond academics.

They’ve taught us as parents how to adapt our parenting approach to Buddy without alienating his older sister. They’ve taught us how to advocate for Buddy in the community and educational system, and how to best partner with our medical team regarding his vision. Over the years, our CCVI teachers have attended Buddy’s ophthalmology appointments to share what they’re observing at school to help paint a more well-rounded picture of how Buddy uses (or not) his vision. They’re an extension of our family.

None of this would be possible without generous donations. CCVI is a non-profit. It’s not an elite, private school for the wealthy. They welcome kiddos of all socio-economic backgrounds, regardless of ability to pay or severity of disability.

On average, it costs $40,000 to educate each child at CCVI. Donations are its lifeblood. The possibility of not being able to afford your child’s life-dependent education, therapy, medicine or medical bills is the most helpless, lonely feeling in the world. 

I want to thank you. Thank you for donating to the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired; thank you for participating in Trolley Run. While it may be a fun race for you, it’s a gateway to hope and potential for Buddy and his friends to succeed in a sighted world.

Thanks for reading.

Bethany, Buddy’s mom

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