Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sweatin' for Sammy Helps Others

For years I have had a dream.  That dream was to build a park in our city that everyone could play at.  I have so much fun at the park with Callie, but quite honestly, it's kind of a headache taking Samantha to the park.  When she was younger, it was ok because she could fit into the baby swings.  And she loves the swings.  But now that she's older, it's difficult for me to get her in and out of those small baby swings.  There are some parks that have high back swings for special needs kids, but let's be honest...every kids loves those swings and they are ALWAYS being used by someone else.  And I'm not about to go and tell some kid to get off the swing.  I just can't do that.

Tanbark is difficult for Sammy to walk on.  There are ledges along the playgrounds that often make it challenging for her to walk up and down.  And really, there's just not much she can do.

Little by little, I came up with what I wanted Sammy and other kids like her to have.  I thought of my nephew, too, who is in a wheelchair.  What would he want to do but can't at a park?  I had plans for him and kids like him.

I talked with my committee for Sweatin' for Sammy and the director of the non-profit we use, DCipher Group Foundation.  I asked them how they would feel using Sweatin' for Sammy as a way to raise some money to create this park.  I had my architect, I had what I wanted, all I needed was money and I was getting ready to approach San Jose with my plans.  I needed them to donate the land.  I was looking at old parks that needed renovation and was going to suggest they NOT spend the money renovating and give it to us...and in 5 years time we'd have a special needs park -- all accessible park -- that would bring people to our beautiful city.

We were all on board.

Then, I was made aware of the fact that the San Jose Rotary Club was beginning this same project!  I was momentarily disappointed thinking that my dreams weren't going to be JUST as I imagined.  But relief hit when I realized we could support them and I'd have a huge load off my shoulders!  Wahoo!  Planning a park is not easy, and if I could just help with fundraising, yeah!

So, this year, I am proud to announce that Sweatin' for Sammy is again raising money for Sammy's therapy....(check out our new logo) and after those costs are met......

we will be making a (hopefully LARGE) donation to the San Jose Rotary Club to help build the San Jose Children's Play Garden.  Look at the link and see their great plans.

I'm excited for the future with our family as we visit this park.

I'm excited that Sweatin' for Sammy is not only helping Samantha, but so many other families in our community.

I'm also really excited to see how much money we can raise.

Come be a part of this year with us.  And if you've joined us in the past...join us again.  It's going to be a great year.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Poor Sammy's been having some serious problems with her feet.  I usually don't get into the pity-party mode, but a couple weeks ago I was so frustrated and just thought... "Most kids don't have to deal with this.  Most MOMS don't have to worry about this."  And I was just upset and sad and frustrated and annoyed.  

The story is long, too long, to write.  But a lot of factors played into why Sammy's right foot has gotten so bad.  Some of those factors are bad decisions made by professionals.  Whatever.  Moving on.  Below is a picture of her right foot.  She had worn her night cast -- she wears casts at night to stretch her achilles tendon as she sleeps -- and this is several hours after her cast has been off.  Look at that redness.  This picture was taken last week and it's now beginning to fade after not wearing casts or braces as she should.  

So.  Frustration. Anger. Annoyance. Sadness.  Back to that.

During the Christmas break, I took time to really work on Sammy's legs and feet.  She would be home all day and I just knew I could "fix" it, or improve her foot at least.  I began to massage her feet and legs 2x a day.  Whenever she was standing and playing, I'd come up to her and put downward pressure through her hips and legs.  I used essential oils as I massaged her.  She took many more warm baths than she normally does, so we could loosen her up.  And all those feelings I had had melted away.  They were replaced by love and gratitude.  I was helping her.  And that time we spent together was happy time.  It wasn't always easy, but I knew I was helping her and there was an exchange of mother/daughter love during those times of service.

I love being Samantha's mom.  She adds so much light to my life.  I'm constantly reminded that those harder times are important because they bring added joy to my every day.  And, every day, she makes me a better person.  It never fails that I only recognize this AFTER the problem, but that's ok.  I'm still trying to be better.  And she's helping me.


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