Ema Zapata was born on September 4, 2014 with Down syndrome. Her parents, Ramόn and MailÍn have been steadfast in their determination to give Ema the best life possible.
The Zapatas, like more than 5,000 other families in our community, rely on the services provided by Hope Haven. Please be a part of their plan for a brighter future by giving generously at the link below today. With your generosity, we will ensure that every child or young adult has a rich life; unrestricted by whatever physical or developmental barriers they may face. Read Ema’s Full Story
What do you say to your eight-year-old child who has lost the ability to walk or stand? How do you create hope for him, and for your family, when there are few answers to help you formulate a realistic plan for his future?
When Will first came to Hope Haven Children’s Clinic and Family Center four years ago, his parents Bill and Blake were looking for just that—a plan. Not a magic wand or even a cure. Just a realistic plan to help their son, Will, live a happy, confident, loving and secure life.
Will had been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at just two and half years old, a devastating diagnosis that came with more questions than answers.When the family was referred to Hope Haven and physical therapist, Kris, they knew immediately that it was the perfect fit for their son. “When you have a child with special needs, there’s no guidebook” said Blake. “I don’t know what I would have done without Kris; she’s been such a blessing to Will because of her passion,empathy and skill. She not only helps Will, she helps the entire family, too.”
When Hannah was diagnosed with Down syndrome and fetal hydrops in utero, her parents were told she would not survive. Miraculously, against the odds, Hannah lived. As she grew, it became difficult for her parents to find a facility that offered all the services this special little girl required. That is, until they were referred to our Down Syndrome Center. Thanks to Hope Haven, today Hannah is a happy, thriving toddler.
“Hannah’s therapists showed us what she could do by focusing on her strengths and abilities while providing us with a path to move our baby forward in her own unique way,” says Rhonda, Hannah’s mother.
J.R. is a June 2014 graduate of Hope Academy – Project SEARCH. Based on J.R.’s skills and personality, Hope Academy staff helped J.R. get a job with Big Chief Tire. Through Hope Academy – Project SEARCH interns like J.R. learn employability and job skills in three, 9-week internships at a host business.
Like all interns, J.R.’s manager provided regular feedback and closely coordinated with the Hope Academy – Project SEARCH instructor and job coaches, ensuring that he had a valuable learning experience. At the end of J.R.’s internship, he was offered his first job: a permanent position with Big Chief Tire. It’s been a life-altering experience for everyone.
Today J.R. approaches every workday at Big Chief Tire with a big smile and solid work ethic that has proved infectious. “J.R. is energetic and happy every day when he comes to work”, said Fritz Parman, third generation owner of this family company. “His presence has been good for the entire team.”
“When I first started working I was nervous,” J.R. said, “But now that I know my job and I know everyone, it’s like working with family. We have a lot of fun.”