This book would not have been possible if the following organizations had not fully supported our project and generously allowed us to interview children who participate in the programs. All net profits will be donated to qualifying participating non-profit organizations.
Muscular Dystrophy Association of Colorado
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health
agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other neuromuscular diseases. The Muscular Dystrophy Association funds worldwide research for 40 different kinds of neuromuscular diseases and provides comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide. Go to www.mda.org for more information.
Easter Seals of Colorado
Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, as well as their families, for nearly 100 years. The organization’s support services includes child development centers, physical rehabilitation and job training services. The Rocky Mountain Village in Empire, Colorado is fully accessible and used by more than 800 children and adults with disabilities every year. Here, campers enjoy swimming, fishing, overnight camping, outdoor cooking, day trips, dances, music and drama, horseback riding, and riding the zipline. To find out more go to www.eastersealscolorado.org.
Special Olympics Colorado
Founded in 1969, the mission of SOCO is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The sports program gives participants continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and share their gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. For more information, go to www.specialolympicsco.org.
SOCO Project Unify (program of Special Olympics Colorado)
This school-based program uses sports and leadership programs to
motivate young people to develop school communities where all youth can become agents of change. Project Unify is designed to foster respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. To learn more, contact the Project UNIFY Youth Initiatives Manager at 720-359-3117.
Global Down Syndrome Foundation
Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public nonprofit dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through Research, Medical Care, Education and Advocacy. Global supports two affiliates which together constitute the only academic home in the United States committed solely to research and medical care for people with Down syndrome – the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Sie Center for Down Syndrome. To learn more, visit www.globaldownsyndrome.org.
Colorado Center for the Blind, Littleton, Colorado
The Colorado Center for The Blind helps people with blindness gain the self-confidence necessary to gain independence, pursue opportunities and achieve success. The center offers many unique learning activities, such as inviting students with visual impairment to dissect small sharks. Blind students leave the Colorado Center training program as living examples of the motto: “With effective training and opportunity, blind people can compete on terms of equality with their sighted peers.” To learn more, contact the Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Hospital of Colorado (Medical Day Treatment Program)
Established in 1991, Medical Day Treatment is a collaborative venture between Children’s Hospital Colorado and Aurora Public Schools. The program’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children and adolescents with chronic medical illnesses who face barriers to accessing education. Medical Day Treatment nurses, teachers, and mental health staff work as a team collaboratively with the youth and their families to empower them to reach academic goals, improve medical adherence and stability, and optimize emotional well-being. For more information, call 720-777-6200.
2HEARTS aims to ensure that all teens with Congenital Heart Disease have the resources needed to lead stable, healthy lives. 2HEARTS provides a support network for children with Congenital Heart Disease. They get to meet others who have experienced similar pains and fears. They have a network of other kids who have scars, pacemakers and daily medicines, as well as other kids who understand what it feels like to spend weeks in a hospital, to not be able to participate in P.E., or to wait years on the heart transplant list. Visit www.2-hearts.org.
The majority of art in this book came from the following three organizations, all of which overwhelmed us with their extreme generosity and enthusiastic help with this project.
MDA Art Collection
The Muscular Dystrophy Association Art Collection was established in 1992 to focus attention on the achievements of artists with disabilities and to emphasize that physical disability is no barrier to creativity. The Collection, on display at MDA’s national office in Chicago, Illinois, and the operations center in Tucson, Arizona, comprises 400 original works by adults and children who have any of the neuromuscular disorders in MDA’s program. Artists in the Collection represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and ranged in age from 2 to 84 when the artwork was created. The variety of talented young people living with neuromuscular diseases is astounding. Their art speaks volumes about their courage, hopes and dreams. To view more of their art go to www.mda.org.
VSA Colorado/Access Gallery
Founded in 1978 in Colorado, VSA Colorado/Access Gallery is an inclusive, international, nonprofit organization offering creative and educational opportunities for people with disabilities to access and experience the arts. Much of the art you see in this book was discovered at the VSA Colorado/Access Gallery. Each year, VSA Colorado/Access Gallery serves nearly 10,000 people with disabilities, their families and those who work with them. Their studio is located at 909 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204.
For more information go to www.accessgallery.org.
Roundup River Ranch
Roundup River Ranch provides free, year-round programs and camp experiences to all children with serious illnesses and their families in the Rocky Mountain region. Campers share in the true joys of old-fashioned camp fun and making new friends, while their parents have peace of mind that the camp is staffed with trained volunteers and medical professionals. Campers have provided several of the art pieces that you see in the book. For more information on this unique camp go to www.roundupriverranch.org.