Category Archives: awareness

Just find another word…

Every March I’m asked why out of all the fights I have to compete in for Bridget, why is ending the use of the word retarded so important?

I understand the question. I know that I have to choose my battles. That I only have so much mental energy and need to be careful how I expend it.

To those who ask the question, why is the R word fight so important I have this answer:

Because having Bridget accepted for who she is, for opening up doors for her and to have her be included… every one of those battles begins at the R word. I never want to imagine that when it is said that something is retarded, they mean mentally challenged. The truth is, they usually do when the term is used to describe a person or a person’s actions.

When someone uses the word retarded to describe another person they are saying that person is less-than, that person doesn’t have value or that person is “not right” in their head. They are saying that the person is mentally incapable or intellectually challenged.

Bridget is intellectually challenged. When you say, that Bozo is retarded you are not saying he is brilliant or spectacular. You are saying he is mentally challenged. Or are you saying something else?  Continue reading

When children are denied an education

There are 62 Million girls around the world who are not in school.  Think of that for a moment. In this country we take education as a right, something a lot of us take for granted. We believe that all should have access to preschool through high school.  There are many of us who believe college should be included in that matrix.  Yet world-wide there are 62 million girls who have no access to education. They are illiterate, uneducated and financially dependent on others. Education is a known factor in advancement yet is denied to young woman around the world. Sometimes through circumstance, most often by men who fear the change women challenge the world to undertake.

A girl without access to reading, writing and arithmetic is more likely to end up in an abusive relationship, motherhood before she is emotionally ready and in poverty.  Want to stop terrorism? Educate the poor, the disenfranchised and the children of the world. Let them understand that the world is more what they see out their window. Malala proved that one girl’s education can give voice to a movement of change. Once their minds are awoken, young women’s voices cannot be silenced. They become mothers who will impart the importance of education to their offspring.

With access to education, young women across the globe will affect change. This is not just women in underdeveloped countries, but here at home.  According to PEW Research only 63% of US high school women go on to secondary education. Some of the 37% decide not to go further because they go into trade, the military or for whatever reason decide not to go to college.  I am willing to bet that out of the 37% of high school girls do not go to college due to circumstance. Looking at colleges is not a financial undertaking most of us can afford nor have the credit rating to achieve. If your parent did not go to college, you are less likely to see the value a college education can be to your life.  Children of lower-income single-mothers are less likely to have the opportunities for higher education. A recent study showed that 100% of former welfare recipients that receive a four-year degree and 82% of welfare recipients who received a 2-year degree stopped relying on welfare support.

In 2013 our country had 10.9 million school age children living in poverty.  Unsurprisingly, 40% of US children living in poverty are unprepared for school.  A staggering 31% of US children without a high school diploma will continue to live in poverty. Compared to just 20 years ago, the rate of children living in poverty has increased and the gap of income inequality continues to grow. Their children will repeat the cycle, unless change is made and education becomes a priority.

Education breeds personal power. If we want to see more women CEOs, leaders and Heads of State we need to educate them. Not in our own backyard, but in every back yard. I do not want women to overtake men; I want women to work alongside them. Equal partners effecting real change to leave this world a better place then we found it.  Advances in science, economies, living conditions and education benefit all of society. We need to stand with the United Nation’s stance that education is a human right and a “driving force of human development”.

When our youth are educated homicides are decreased, crime is lessened, reduces infant mortality and teenage pregnancy. Famine and world hunger can be alleviated. Terrorism loses its footing when those being suppressed are educated on how to make their voices resonate across the lands.

The US Peace Corps is collaborating with USAID and the First Lady to work together in educating girls, one girl at a time, through grassroots efforts. Volunteers committed to teaching all children. They understand that with education comes change, and maybe peace.  It’s time to get the facts and be clear: education should be a fundamental right of every child. To learn more about the initiative Let Girls Learn please visit their website at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/letgirlslearn

TBT–Kaylee is determined to Pay It Forward

Today’s Throw Back Post is about my friend Kaylee. A girl who is an incredible hero. Once again she is participating in the Polar Plunge to support Comfort Zone. The camp that allowed her a safe place to grieve and to grow. Please consider to once again donating to her cause. No child should lose a parent, but if they do then they need places like Comfort Camps. Her plunge is coming soon, Feb 28, 2015. Given the current arctic winter we are having, I am hoping she doesn’t have blizzard conditions!

I am in awe of children. Children who want to make a difference in other’s lives. Whether it is a huge movement like Malala or providing comfort for another child. I would like to introduce you to a beautiful seventh-grader named Kaylee.

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Why a special prom?

Tim Teebow’s foundation is doing something many think is quite awesome. His foundation will be sponsoring a prom for children with special needs. The event is being held in 50 different sites throughout the country.  I know I should be giving this huge thanks and appreciation but I don’t get it.

Why do children like Bridget need their own prom? Continue reading

My Challenge: Coach Eli

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I am so excited that Coach Eli is willing to share his Challenge today. I admire Eli so much. First because he coaches girl soccer. I would rather have a root canal. He is the dad to three incredible daughters. He is the dad you want your kid to have. One that balances being a dad with being a coach with being the soft place for his girls to land.  Okay enough gushing.

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TBT–CARE

Throw-back Thursday, today to not quite end Down Syndrome Awareness Month I am reposting a blog from October 31, 2013. It is beyond important to raise awareness for what Down Syndrome is and what it is not. This post explains why it is so important to any parent whose child has a special need.

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Good things come in Three or thanks to Coach Eli

Thanks to Coach Eli for helping me with today’s post. I normally don’t worry about writing every day but I am committed to the 31 for 21 challenge. Or should be committed, but let’s just say I love a challenge. But needed a prompt.
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I’m thankful for the GAP

Words I never thought I would utter. But truly, I am thankful for the GAP. Ellen at Love that Max  posted a picture on Facebook of the latest GAP add. Giving them a shout out for including a girl with cerebral palsy.

I had to blow up the add to the full-view to find her.

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