Jared was doing really well with his health, so I got him signed up for Special Olympics. This was for the Summer Games at Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and it usually started the first week in June. The opening ceremony was on Thursday, and the events were on Friday and Saturday. If you haven’t been, you should go to at least one. But you will probably want to go back. These people all have disabilities, but they are all awesome. So many people came up to Jared and wanted to be his friend, and some of them come to Jared’s events and cheered him on. We also went to their events and cheered them too. Everyone did the best they could and was happy to get any medal they received. I always took Jared and stayed with him. We also went with a friend of ours and had even more fun. We would stay in a motel because of Jared’s health issues. We couldn’t stay in the dorm like the other kids because of our area Special Olympics director. This was a problem we had every time because the director of Special Olympics in our area did not want him to participate because he was in a wheelchair. So I took care of Jared, and we went to the events that she signed him up for. Jared participated in an event called MATP. It stands for motor, activities, training program. It is for people with severe disabilities. They do kicking and throwing if they can. It is set up for individual abilities. They also had a special swimming event so they could kick and splash in the water. They had fun and did what they could. Jared loved all of it. They all got gold medals and pictures taken with a volunteer. Then Jared and I would go back to the motel and chill out for a while. Then we went to the pool and hot tub at the motel. Jared enjoyed Special Olympics, so that was why we went. The momma bear is at work again. Someday everything will make sense. For now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason. Jared had a sense of being able to tell if someone was comfortable around him or if they weren’t. He could be a very loveable little man when he chose too. A typical teenager, I would say. Of course with Mom and Dad, we always got his love, and we gave him our love. Through all his many challenges, I always made sure to hug him and tell him I loved him. When Jared was at school, he knew his teacher and his paraprofessional teachers did their best to make him happy. They could always tell if Jared wasn’t feeling well. So Jared felt their love and started to give them hugs. Jared also gave hugs to the nurses because he felt their love too. I visited the school often, and I liked to participate with the class in events like Halloween and different activities they had in the gym. When I went to Jared’s class, he usually would give me a hug unless he was playing a video game. He was a big boy now! One day I was at the school and the assistant principal asked me why Jared hadn’t given her a hug. She was always very happy with the kids and would talk to them. I said, “Did you ask him for a hug?” She had a surprised look on her face and said, “No, I didn’t.” I said, “Well,it is worth a try. Either he will or he won’t depending on if he is having a good day.” I didn’t think any more about it, and I didn’t say anything to Jared. I think it was about a week later that I got a call from the assistant principal. She was all excited and said she got a hug from Jared today. She said she asked him for a hug, and he gave her one. From that moment on, she would go up to him, and he gave her an awesome hug. What can I say? That’s my boy! Sometimes you just have to ask! It was time for Jared to get new glasses. Usually I would pick out his frames but this time I felt Jared could pick out what he wants for a change. We were at Walmart and the lady was real nice. She said there was two options that were small enough for Jared. I explained to Jared that he was going to pick out the one he wants. She put the first pair on him and he immediately took them off and sent it back to her. That was definitely a no. She put the second pair on and he pushed that up farther on his nose and was beaming with pride. That was the one! So that was the pair he got. He was happy from that day forward. I am always so of him. His new glasses made him look so grown up and handsome as usual. Good job Jared !!
My husband and I have journeyed down Jared’s path, too, and saw more miracles happening to us and Jared.
This path follows Jared from eighteen years old to twenty-one years old—a milestone made beyond doctors’ expectations and a life lived against all odds. Jared and I taught a lot of people along his path. People are not all the same and situations are not all the same. Everyone is an individual and have their own unique path. Medical treatments need to be made for the best quality of life for each person. Having special needs shouldn’t determine the kind of care you receive. We are not a one-size-fit-all person. What works for some people may not work for others, especially if you have complicated medical issues.
Jared’s many medical issues made some doctors not wanting to care for him. I hope this book will help others to not give up hope and keep advocating as long as it takes to get our special needs children the best medical care they can have and deserve. Jared has had a lot of very good doctors in his life; you just have to be willing to look for them and appreciate them when you find them.
About the Author
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 32 years. We live out in the country and enjoy our nice neighborhood.
I have three cats and they are very enjoyable. I like to paint ceramics and go on walks when I am not working. I participate in a 4-H club called Best Friends 4-H Club. This club works with children with special needs to handle canines and learn about canines and then can participate in the Berrien County Youth Fair. All the canines are therapy dogs or qualify to be a therapy dog. I am also club secretary. Jared and I have participated in this club for many years. I also volunteer for a local senior center for which I transport people to appointments and shopping errands. I also help them with the monthly commodities when my job allows me. I have a part-time job working at a casino but I am always advocating for my son. I am just a mom doing the best I can for my son, to carry our love to eternity.