The ATI Foundation was honored to have been chosen as a grant beneficiary of The Mesa HoHoKams - a group of civic volunteers dedicated to Major League Baseball Spring Training in Mesa, Arizona and to raising funds for local charities and kids’ sports in the East Valley. On Tuesday, August 20th, Greg Patt from the Mesa HoHoKams presented the ATI Foundation with a check for $2,000, which will be used to help four kids on the Arizona beneficiary list. Greg, a friend of ATI Physical Therapist and Chandler Clinic Director Eric Shifley, had nominated the ATI Foundation to the HoHoKams funding committee. After accepting this gift, The ATI Foundation followed with a presentation to two of their own beneficiaries.
Two-year-old Armani Baldwin of San Tan Valley was chosen as the Arizona honorary beneficiary for the recent Cool Kids Giveaway—a nation-wide campaign hosted by the ATI Foundation. Armani has spinal muscle atrophy (SMA) and will require regular, life-long treatments for her condition, which is a genetic disorder characterized by a loss of motor functions causing muscle weakness, the inability to stand or walk, difficulty swallowing, and respiratory problems. She recently got a new specialized car seat, which was too large for her mother’s economy-sized vehicle. Her mom had been saving up for several months to trade in the car for a larger vehicle without increasing the monthly payments. As a result of the Cool Kids Giveaway, The ATI Foundation was recently able to provide funding for a down payment on a vehicle that will better accommodate Armani’s new car seat. What the family didn’t expect was to be presented with funding to pay the first four monthly payments.
“The van has made a huge difference in [our] everyday life. She can finally fit her adaptable car seat properly, and I can fit her wheelchair without even folding it, which makes it easier for me to handle when it’s just me and Armani. The doors are automatic so that also makes our life a hundred times easier,” said Amber Slupski, Armani’s mother. “Armani absolutely loves it—SMA kids have trouble regulating their body temperature, and she can finally get ice cold AC so that she doesn’t overheat. We are so very grateful for being able to get this van.”
The ATI Foundation then introduced 13-year-old Tyler Brown of Gilbert, Arizona. Due to cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and blindness, Tyler has never been able to ride a traditional bike.
“He really enjoys being on a bike, but he’s outgrown his previous adaptive bike, and has recently lost more mobility, said Tyler’s mom. “This is really helpful, thank you.”
A check for $3,000 was presented to Tyler for a new, larger adaptive bicycle with more of the required adaptations, which will allow him to be on rides with his Mom, Nancy and younger brother, Grayson.
“Special thanks to The Mesa HoHoKams and all of the ATI team members involved who are thinking about our mission and making these presentations possible in Arizona and the 24 other states we serve," said Terry Williams, ATI Foundation Executive Director. "We look forward to continuing our mission and helping many more children.”
The ATI Foundation was founded in 2003 by ATI Physical Therapy for employees and patients to give back to the communities in which they live, work and serve. The mission of the ATI Foundation is to provide resources and funding to children with physical impairments to enhance and sustain a better quality of life. Learn more at ATIFoundation.com and follow on Facebook @ATIFndn.