Man’s best friend adds positive impact to kids with special needs

June 15, 2012

Man’s best friend adds positive impact to kids with special needs

FOX | June 11, 2012 | By Chris Olberholtz and Matt Stewart

LEAWOOD, KS (KCTV) – Dogs are amazing animals and can do so many things. Now, one national organization is pairing up service dogs with kids with special needs.

An 8-year-old boy from Leawood just brought home his new best friend, and the positive impact it has made in his life is amazing.

Every morning, the parents of 8-year-old Charlie Sykora lift him out of bed and buckle him into his wheelchair so he can get around.

Charlie has Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA for short. He can’t walk. It is hard for him to play with other kids his age. He has struggled to make friends. But now he has a new best friend.

Meadow is half lab, half retriever, and she has helped people see Charlie in a different light.

“Charlie had been saying he didn’t want to go out in public because he didn’t like people staring at him, he didn’t like that feeling,” Charlie’s mother, Kim Sykora, said.

Charlie says people never used to come up to him before, only his family and friends.

“With a dog, it opens it up, it gives people a reason to approach,” his mom said.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more and see a great video…


A New Best Friend for Metro Boy in Need

March 25, 2011

A New Best Friend for Metro Boy in Need

FOX (Kansas City) | March 24, 2011 | By Abby Eden

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A seven year-old metro boy with special needs from the Kansas City metro got a new canine companion for free today.

Charlie Sykora has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. His new canine companion will be able to help charlie with picking things up, alerting others if Charlie needs help, and even opening doors.

The free gift is a blessing for Charlie’s family.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Boy has group to thank for ‘souped-up’ wheelchair

February 16, 2011

Boy has group to thank for ‘souped-up’ wheelchair

The Shawnee Dispatch | February 16, 2011 | By Stephen Montemayor

It’s just after 6:30 Thursday morning and Sam Rice rides his wheelchair into a Merriam Krispy Kreme shop. With an entourage at least seven deep, the Benninghoven third grader is met with much celebrity.

He’s handed a heart-shaped doughnut on the house. He’d call it his favorite part of the morning, but his expression when chatting with a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader suggested otherwise.

Joined by his parents, three brothers, a friend and his friend’s sister, Sam is up earlier than most of his classmates to celebrate Young Variety Kansas City’s one-year anniversary as part of its “Reverse Happy Hour.” Months earlier, the charity organization raised enough money to cover $30,000 in additions to his wheelchair that insurance wouldn’t cover.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…