Hens help league score miracles

June 13, 2011

Hens help league score miracles

toledaBlade.com | June 13, 2011 | By Julie Mckinnon

Toledo Mud Hens pitcher Robbie Weinhardt was ahead in the count against Corey Pappas when the batter suddenly made the Miracle League of Northwest Ohio crowd on both sides roar.

“Help me out, crowd, please,” the 21-year-old Oregon man good-naturedly pleaded before hitting a rubber ball he couldn’t see — but his father assured him was in the strike zone.

Mr. Pappas, who has cerebral palsy and cerebral blindness, played Sunday in the annual Miracle League of Northwest Ohio All-Star Game with help from three Mud Hens heroes: pitchers Weinhardt and Thad Weber and outfielder Deik Scram.

“This is an absolute joy to come help out these kids,” Weber said between helping Miracle League athletes in the infield. “This is the best part of the day right here.”

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Bellevue girl keeps on smiling while battling disorder

June 10, 2011

Bellevue girl keeps on smiling while battling disorder

Sandusky Register | June 7, 2011 | By Alissa Widman

Kylie Niedermier’s little brother loves to greet her with a kiss on the cheek.

Luke Niedermier, 2, gently approaches her chair, lingers for a few seconds, and then scurries away with a grin on his face.

“I don’t call him my little brother, I call him my ‘little bother,’” Kylie, 6, jokes. “He’s silly.”

She urgently calls for her mother, Heidi Niedermier, to wipe off his “slobber spot.” She can’t do it herself.

And if she wanted to, Kylie couldn’t chase after Luke to return the favor.

Kylie lives with Type I spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive loss of muscle control and weakness.

It’s left her almost completely paralyzed.

About one in 6,000 to 10,000 infants are born with the disorder each year, according to the SMA Foundation’s website.

The condition requires constant care.

Kylie is fed through a tube and is often hospitalized for respiratory treatments and intubation because of her weak lungs.

But if you ask Kylie, she’s just an ordinary girl, with a love of dress-up, puppies and especially the color purple. She can do a lot of things — read, sing with Luke, and identify any bird that flies by her window.

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Whitfield honored for service

April 29, 2011

Whitfield honored for service

ThisWeekNews.com | April 27, 2011 | By Jennifer Nesbitt

For the last eight years, Westerville resident Nila Whitfield has helped make the wishes of more than 40 children come true.

As a result, the Make-A-Wish volunteer and fundraiser has been named an “outstanding volunteer” by the foundation’s Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Region.

Whitfield said she first volunteered for Make-A-Wish after a friend’s child had a wish granted. That friend began volunteering and encouraged Whitfield to do the same.

“When I got ready to retire from Ohio State, she said, ‘Nila, this would be perfect for you,'” Whitfield said.

Whitfield said the families she meets are what make volunteering for Make-A-Wish great.

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Apple iPad Helps Give Voice To Those Who Can’t Speak

April 5, 2011

Apple iPad Helps Give Voice To Those Who Can’t Speak

FOX 8 (Cleveland) | April 5, 2011 | By Debra Alfarone

When you think of Apple’s top-selling “it” product, the iPad, you probably think of long lines for the product at Apple stores, and maybe even the wealthy techno-yuppies that carry it around, but the iPad is also being used in a more altruistic manner to speak for those who can’t.

Speech therapists at Lincoln Community School in Bayonne, New Jersey have been using an iPad complete with Prologuo2go software (http://www.proloquo2go.com) to teach autistic children, many of whom don’t speak, to communicate.

Speech therapist Carmella Barbieri works closely with the children, “It’s great, so he can express a sentence to his teacher or to his peers and can communicate with others through devices like this.”

The device can spell out commands and requests and speak them aloud, such as “I need apple juice'” or “I need to go to the bathroom.”

Principal Dennis Degnan says the iPad has been a huge success, “It’s automatic feedback and it makes them feel good about themselves.”

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Websites link to milk from another mother

February 21, 2011

Websites link to milk from another mother

Cincinnati.com | February 21, 2011 | By John Johnson

Susie Anderson supplements the diet of her 3-year-old son, Roman, with 15 ounces of donated breast milk every day.

The 31-year-old Erlanger mother believes Roman, who must be fed through a tube because of a genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy, is healthier because of it. She plans to continue those feedings “as long as I can keep getting donated milk.”

Her main donor is a Fort Wright mother, but Anderson also has received breast milk from women in Fairfax, Taylor Mill and Elizabethtown, Ky., all of whom she met through the Internet.

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Local Artist Overcomes Tragedy To Memorialize Children

January 27, 2011

Local Artist Overcomes Tragedy To Memorialize Children

NBC4i.com | January 27, 2011 | By Cabot Rea

Vodpod videos no longer available.

CENTRAL OHIO — At 9 months of old, a high fever and strange bruising sent Samantha Bennett to the hospital.

With no answers, she was transferred to a pediatric hospital where the delayed diagnosis of bacterial meningitis proved devastating.

Bennett lost parts of all her fingers, half of one foot and that was not all.

“I am covered in skin grafts. My nose was almost gone, but I’m so grateful they saved my life,” she said.

Bennett underwent surgery after surgery, spending up to six months in the hospital at a time.

It was during that time, with nothing else to do, that she developed the love of drawing.

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Gift to grandson now helps other children

January 6, 2011

Gift to grandson now helps other children

Newsnet5.com (ABC) | January 6, 2011| By Alicia Booth

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio – Ron Soroka was racking his brain trying to figure out a way for his young grandson to enjoy trains, but little Jack’s spinal muscular atrophy prevented him from playing with toys other kids could.

Then, an idea came to Soroka out of nowhere.

“One morning, believe it or not, at three in the morning, I woke up and I said you know, I have an old N guage (small train and train track) in the basement, I’m gonna dig it up,” he said.

Nine months later, Soroka had constructed an elaborate train activity table that his grandson could access from his wheelchair. It was specially-designed to help Jack with his motor skills while having fun.

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