Nine-year-old Taylor of Puyallup, Wash., was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two. She’s been in speech and physical therapy on a weekly basis for the past seven years. Despite her challenges and lack of independent mobility, Taylor is a happy, social fourth-grader with many friends.
Recently, genetic testing was done after Taylor’s motor skills began to gradually decrease, which is not typical for someone with CP. She was becoming less proficient with walking crutches, and began relying much more on her wheelchair on a daily basis.
The family was shocked by the results of the testing, which revealed that Taylor has Juvenile ALS. This new diagnosis changes so many things for the family and for Taylor’s future. As her progressive condition will inevitably demand more accommodations over the years, the need for some home modifications have become more urgent.
Currently, the family’s home has a patchy old gravel driveway, no walkway up to the door, and no ramp into the doorway, making it very difficult for her parents to transport her from their vehicles into the house.
On September 22, the ATI Foundation hosted their second annual golf outing in Orting, Washington. Terry Williams, with the help of Karla Borton, Matt Lindemann, several volunteers and community sponsors, welcomed Taylor and her family as guests to the special event.
The connection between ATI Foundation and Taylor was made by Karla Borton, Senior Practice Partner at ATI Physical Therapy for the state of Washington. Upon speaking to Taylor’s specialty PT at a local pediatric therapy facility, she realized that the ATI Foundation might be able to help, so together they got the ball rolling. Taylor’s dad, Jesse, submitted an application, and soon received a phone call and invitation as the honorary beneficiaries at the golf outing.
“That little girl just wanted to be friends with everyone,” said Karla. “I was so excited they could be at our event!”
On the morning of the outing, before the golfers headed out to the course, they witnessed an example of the impact their support has in the lives of local children with physical impairments.
“Our gift to Taylor and her family will help cover the cost of a wheelchair ramp for their home,” said Terry Williams, Executive Director of the ATI Foundation. “It makes us very proud to be able to step in and do this for another family within another ATI community.”
While Taylor may not fully comprehend what her newer diagnosis means for her and the road ahead, she continues to shine with her bright personality, rarely showing any signs of frustration or negativity. Her dad, Jesse, continues to pursue the best answers, treatments and accommodations for his daughter, just as he always has, regardless of her diagnosis.
“We’re very grateful and honored to receive this generous donation, which will help Taylor a lot,” said Jesse. “Our family cannot thank the ATI Foundation enough . . . this experience was one we will never forget.”
Founded by ATI Physical Therapy in 2003, the ATI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides resources and funding to children with physical impairments to enhance and sustain a better quality of life. Since its inception, the ATI Foundation has raised over $5,000,000 to make a day-to-day impact on the lives of more than 5,500 children across the 25 states in which the organization is currently established. Learn more at ATIFoundation.com, and follow at Facebook.com/ATIFndn.