My husband asked me when I first brought up the idea of Overcome Birth Defects what I hoped to achieve by starting a non-profit. My reason was quite simple: to help children. Through Overcome Birth Defects, my goal is to provide resources to adults and toys to children.
I was born with several congenital disabilities that have in part shaped who I am today. I spent my childhood visiting doctors, specialists, clinics and hospitals. Vacations and holidays were spent in hospitals undergoing various surgeries to help correct or make my congenital disabilities functional. I remember the feeling of dread as a holiday approached because it meant pain and a holiday spent recovering from surgery.
So why start a non-profit? I felt more in control when I had the ability to research and learn about my choices in regards to my medical care. I also recall the joy when the Big Apple Circus and the NYFD would come through the children's wing and pass out toys. It is my belief that a person with a disability or a parent whose child has a disability should not have to feel alone, isolated or clueless as to where to start researching or sharing their experiences/feelings. Children who are in the hospital should have a toy to help reduce the anxiety, stress, and pain of treatments being administered.
Thank you to all who have supported me throughout the years and made all of Overcome's toy drives such a success.