Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Happy Birthday, Hudson!

Hudson with Mom, Ashley

“Hi, I’m Hudson,” said the cute little red-haired boy with a winning smile. He readily introduces himself when he meets new people. Hudson turns ten today. He’s open and energetic, plays sports, and is on a swim team

Hudson was born with Down syndrome. He began therapy at three months through Babies Can’t Wait, a program for young children in Georgia. With ADHD, OCD, an immune deficiency, and a severe hearing loss, he has a lot on his plate for a little guy. When we met Hudson, he was between medications to control some of those issues. His doctor had taken him off the medication he’d been taking when he gained fifteen pounds in three weeks.

His speech is amazing, especially with Down syndrome and the degree of hearing loss.

His Occupational Therapist, Jeanna, says “In therapy, we have been working on higher level skills for increased independence such as self-care, responsibility, safety awareness, and emotional and self- regulation. Thus far, the approach has not met Hudson’s needs. . .  Through Therapeutic Riding Hudson would have the opportunity to address those same skills but in an environment that is highly motivation and meaningful to him. . . Therapeutic Riding could help Hudson reach his full potential.”

Happy birthday, Hudson, and happy trails.

Thank you for your gifts that make it possible for Hudson to take Therapeutic Riding. If you’d like to donate to Hudson’s equine therapy, we make it easy on our Facebook page, Jacob Beachy Fund. Just click the DONATE button. We also welcome your checks, sent to Jacob’s Fund, 1630 Tipperary Drive, Middletown, Ohio 45042-3875. If you’d like to know more about Jacob’s Fund, hippotherapy, or therapeutic riding, please contact us at 513-423-0108.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Thanks, Moms!




Last week we wore hats for the Derby Day festivities at McKenna Farms. This week, we’re taking off our hats – to the moms we met last week and their counterparts who work their hardest to find resources that will help their children who experience developmental delays. They stretch budgets to the limit to ensure that their children can get the best possible care. They drive for hours to and from medical and therapy appointments, and they wouldn’t have it any other way, because they’re moms.
So today, we honor these ladies who take momness to a higher level. Thank you, Melissa, Jana Ashley, Odette, Kristen, Chaka, Rodley, and Crystal. It was great to get to know you, and to know that you are in charge of your child’s care

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Becuse of Your Smile

Weston
Nyla


Hudson

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
                                                                                Thich Nhat Hanh

Sometimes they smiled at us; sometimes they smiled at their mom, their siblings, or their horse. No matter, these children’s smiles did make life more beautiful for us this past weekend.

The three days we spent at McKenna Farms in Dallas, Georgia, filled us with joy and brought out our smiles, too. Seeing and hearing both moms and children tell of their victories: sitting up unsupported for the first time at age six, giving a horse verbal commands to follow at age fourteen when you’ve been silent with autism since age two, going for days after a hippotherapy session without having a single meltdown when your history is of one meltdown after another – these are the victories we celebrated over the weekend.

You’ll hear more of these children’s stories as we feature each child on Jacob’s Fund’s blog. But right now, just look at those smiles!

Thank you for your continued support of Jacob’s Fund. If you’d like to help put a smile on these little faces, we make it easy for you to donate through our Facebook Page: Jacob Beaachy Fund. Just click the Donate button. To donate with a check, please address it to Jacob’s fund, 1630 Tipperary Drive, Middletown, Ohio 45042-3875. We are grateful for your help.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

When it Gets Real





On the move . . .

Our bags are packed, we’re ready to go. In the next few hours we’ll move away further and further away from the file drawers and cabinets where we keep records for the children Jacob’s Fund sponsors and move south, to warmer climes and swelling hearts as we draw closer to McKenna Farms.

Because we live at a considerable distance from the farm, these trips to meet the Jacob’s Fund children and families are freighted with emotion and meaning for us. We’ll have the opportunity to talk with moms and dads face to face, and to see the marvelous little ones in action on a horse.

We know the diagnoses of these children, why hippotherapy and therapeutic riding will help them. It’s all in the files in black and white. We’ve talked to parents on the phone, and we know how excited they are to see the progress their children have made

But nothing can match the time we spend face-to-face. That’s when it gets real. Each beautiful child shines in his or her own special way. Their smiles are indelible in our memory. Their stories come to life.

We’ll be sharing those stories with you over the next few days. Our schedule is filled with meetings with parents, and for that we’re grateful, because that means that we are able to support more children than ever before through Jacob’s Fund.

Sharing is important. You’re the reason these kids are able to receive therapy on a horse, strengthening their core, improving not only their immediate physical abilities, but their lives for many years to come. The great strides in speech, interaction with family and friends, and skills for life are possible because you care, and you contribute to make life better for these children.  

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Focus on Johnathon


Johnathon, a true winner, wearing his medal, with his therapeutic riding instructor, Bryan

There are a lot of things about Johnathon that make him a winner, says Bryan, his therapeutic riding instructor:
               
·         Exceptional listening skills
·         Eagerness to excel
·         Willingness and desire to learn new things
·         Having a sweet and kind disposition
·         Being motivated by his own perception of success
·         His positive outlook
·         Character

When we learned that Johnathon had won the medal for Focus at McKenna Farms Annual End of Year Horseshow at McKenna Farms in February, we wanted to know more about this amazing young man.

Johnathon is fourteen; he’s been diagnosed with autism. He stopped talking at three and a half years old. The next few years were up and down for him. A team of very helpful clinicians and teachers worked with him for two years. Then, his teacher left. Johnathon slipped back; once again he no longer talked.

But in May, his mother, determined to find a new program for him, discovered McKenna Farms. After his first visit, he came home excited and eager to tell his dad multiple details about his experience at the farm. Since then, he’s begun to thrive, and once he discovered the horses, Johnathon’s been on an upward trajectory. He loves his horse, Coal, and Coal stimulates him to do excel.

Johnathon in the ring

Jacob’s Fund is thrilled with Johnathon’s accomplishments and we are grateful to be a part of his growth as he works hard to reach his full potential.

“He is a unique young man with unlimited potential. His focus and drive earned him the Focus award,” said Bryan, his therapeutic riding instructor.

We’re cheering Johnathon on and we hope you do, too.

If you’d like to help this kind and capable teenager further along the road to a bright future, please consider donating to Jacob’s Fund. Our address is:

Jacob’s Fund
1630 Tipperary Drive
Middletown, Ohio, 45042-3875

If you’d like to learn more about Jacob’s Fund, or would like to volunteer at one of the facilities we partner with, please contact us at 513-423-0108.

We’re grateful that you want to help Johnathon and our other Jacob’s Fund’s Kids live the fullest possible lives. Thank you.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Show Your Colors!


I’m wearing a long red fleece jacket on this cold day. If you haven’t donned your red duds yet, take time to do that when you’ve read this post because today is WEAR RED DAY!


Jacob

February is Heart Month. Many of you know the story of our Jacob, in whose memory Jacob’s Fund exists. Jacob was born with multiple heart defects and underwent several open heart and other surgeries. It was after his last surgery that he contracted MRSA in the hospital and died six weeks later.

What you may not know is that severe heart defects can result in developmental delays and impairments. When Jacob began hippotherapy at McKenna Farms in 2006 at age two, he hadn’t yet begun walking. Once he began hippotherapy (therapy using the horse as a tool), he walked, and ran, and his speech and vocabulary expanded immensely. I’ll never forget when he asked, after seeing me wear one, “Grandma, can I have a pedometer?” Uh, yes! I clipped it to his diaper.

Since we founded Jacob’s Fund, we’ve been able to help kids with all kinds of impairments through hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. Some of these delightful children have heart defects.
Jonah


Among them is Jonah, who has some of the same heart defects that Jacob had. Part of his heart is missing on the left side. Jonah has a mass of gorgeous blond hair, big eyes and a mischievous grin that tells you right away that this boy has a great sense of humor. We met him before he was old enough for preschool, but now he’s in school and doing well. Jonah’s family makes every effort to help him and seek out the necessary services that he needs. Life with multiple heart defects means many hospital and doctor visits all along the way.

As I think about our wonderful Jacob, several other children we’ve learned about come to mind: Timothy, Luka, Charlie. All of them are dealing with multiple heart defects. They, like us, fervently hope and pray for help and healing for their children.

While we can’t magically make that happen, we can do something. Contribute to the American Heart Association. Donate to Jacob’s Fund.

And WEAR RED today! Now’s the time to show your colors.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Jaxon


Jaxon, four years old

This smiling four-year-old is Jaxon. “Our sweet boy  . . . truly a miracle and blessing,” says his mom, Brittany.

Jaxon was born at twenty-three weeks. He weighed one pound, four ounces, so small he could be held in one hand. Jaxon spent the first six months of his life in intensive care.


Baby Jaxon born four months prematurely

Those are the statistics, but they’re not the sum of Jaxon’s life. He’s a pre-kindergartener with a love for horses, and horses are what are helping Jaxon overcome some of the developmental delays a preemie like him has to deal with: speech difficulties, fine and gross motor skill delays, and developmental delays. Jaxon has had multiple eye surgeries, and continues to work on balance and muscle strength.

It’s exhausting work for a little guy. He’s worked hard in clinical settings, but on a horse . . . well, therapy delivered while a child is riding a horse isn’t work - it’s fun! Underneath all the fun, though, real work is going on inside Jaxon’s body. The horse’s movement mimics the movement of the human pelvis, and the neural and muscular pathways respond to that movement. Speech and vocabulary improve, Jaxon’s core is strengthened and he builds skill upon skill with each hippotherapy session.


Jaxon, ready to ride

Jacob’s Fund is so happy to provide Jaxon with a hippotherapy ridership. He’s come so far since he entered the world way too early. He’s still on a journey to meet developmental milestones and gain strength, and Jacob’s Fund wanted to be a part of that.

Your donation to Jacob’s Fund’s fundraiser on Giving Tuesday will guarantee that we can continue to help Jaxon and the eleven other children with developmental impairments Jacob’s Fund is currently supporting with hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. It takes only a few seconds to make a donation on our Facebook Page - Jacob Beachy Fund – using the Donate button. Your donation makes a life-changing difference for children