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Donors Open Doors For Noah In December 2008 our first son, Noah, was born. Noah suffered global brain damage as a result of not breathing or having a heartbeat for the first thirteen minutes of life. Our life changed forever that day. Noah was diagnosed with Hypoxic-Ishemic Encephalopathy, and Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy. The prognosis for him was grim: that he would never learn to sit, crawl, walk, talk or even self-feed. We were instantly thrown into the unknown world of special needs. Realizing quickly that Noah's needs were extensive, we started our quest to search out the best possible opportunities and therapies to help him as much as we could. Others in the community had told us of Bal Swan - a school that accommodated both special needs children and typical children. Knowing that Noah's needs were so challenging we worried if the school would welcome him or not, and if they did, we weren't sure how we'd afford it. Many of Noah's therapies are not covered by insurance and are out-ofpocket costs. Although we were not hopeful, we chose to explore it to see if there was any chance that Noah could participate in their programs. We applied and much to our surprise, they didn't blink an eye with Noah's needs. He wasn't seen as different. He was instantly welcomed and loved. Yet we faced our next hurdle: how do we pay for this amazing opportunity? After Noah's birth I was forced to quit my job to care for him and our household income significantly declined. We found ourselves struggling to pay for our monthly bills all the while pursuing opportunities to help Noah in his continued recovery. Administration at Bal Swan encouraged us to fill out a scholarship. We completed the application and Noah qualified. A door had opened for him. We started warm water therapy with Miss Jill in the fall of 2010, participated in the parent/toddler sensory class the following winter, and started speech therapy with Miss Melissa this year. Staff members know Noah's name even if they do not have regular contact with him. The music instructor would even let Noah sit in if we happened to arrive a bit early for pool therapy. We are welcomed by all - even other parents helping us hold a door, offering us tender smiles, and sweet hellos as we stroll the hallway on our way to therapy. Bal Swan has always made us feel a part of everything. In their eyes we are not different. And they pass on that same beautiful philosophy to all that step through their doors. Bal Swan therapists have offered us hope. They cheer Noah on and share our joy with each little inch-stone accomplishment that he makes and understand the hard times we often face along this journey. Without all the generous donations that Bal Swan receives, Noah's attendance would simply be impossible for our family. People don't often have the opportunity to put a face with what their generosity and giving hearts provide. Noah is a true testament to what is possible for special needs children and their families through scholarships that are funded by donations and sponsors. So many people out there have gifted Noah with the opportunity to attend Bal Swan. And we forever offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for caring enough to donate and sponsor this amazing school. "Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud." Maya Angelou With Many Thanks, Stacy, Chris, Noah and Luke Warden, Current Bal Swan Family


Noah's Letter one pager