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Posts Tagged ‘Developmental Disabilities Buffalo NY’

“Dinner for a Difference” | Buffalo Bills Helping CP Community

cerebral palsy benefit

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that doesn’t discriminate, it truly affects a cross section of life.  While no community, race, gender or socioeconomic class is spared, it’s when communities come together that real understanding and progress can be achieved.

Buffalo Bill Eric Wood knows the perils of CP all too well.  While the hulking 6’4, 310-pound Center focuses on battling fellow behemoths on Sundays, he has experienced the emotions — struggles and victories that accompany supporting a family member with the condition.  His younger brother suffered from severe CP and unfortunately passed away when Eric was just 14-years-old.  

His first-hand experience of how CP affects families served as the inspiration for his philanthropic efforts through the Eric Wood Foundation, founded in 2014.  The organization works to both raise aid to give individuals with CP “exciting experiences” and provide financial relief to their families in Buffalo and Louisville, KY where Wood attended college.  

4 Things to Know About Cerebral Palsy

Wood held his second annual “Dinner for a Difference” this past Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Downtown Buffalo.  The event serves as an outlet to give back to both communities that have influenced his life.  

The 3-course dinner provided opportunity to converse over cocktails, bid on select memorabilia and meet other members of the Buffalo Bills — all while raising money to support the CP community.  Several of Wood’s teammates, including quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Richie Incognito, and Sammy Watkins, served Hors d’oeuvres as diners were treated to live music along with the memorable evening.  

Wood’s initiative spotlights Individuals with special needs in Buffalo, NY as he remembers what kind of issues members of his family worked through.

“My brother spent the majority of his life in a home or at the hospital. so when I meet families with sick children, I feel like I can relate,” Wood said.  “The times that my brother was at home, we had a nurse in our house 24-7—that’s invasive on a family. I understand a lot of the struggle financially and emotionally that happens. So when I set out to start a foundation, we had a few goals.”

Bills Center Eric Wood Hosts 2nd Annual ‘Dinner For A Difference’ | TWC News

Wood’s foundation augments community efforts and brings additional positive attention to developmental disabilities in Erie County.  Assistance is available including therapies, assistive technology/devices and vocational training for  the developmentally disabled in WNY     

Last year’s event alone raised $60,000 that has and will continue to make a difference in the lives of thousands of ill children.  Whether an individual suffers from Cerebral Palsy personally or has been affected by a  family member who does, Eric Wood’s outreach continues to teach important lessons.  Specifically that community is an integral part of establishing support, understanding and most importantly….progress.

 

Boy With Autism Cries Tears of Joy For His Favorite Band

Have you seen the video? What an amazing capture of an autistic boy being moved by seeing his favorite band in person. If you haven’t seen the video, here it is.

Luis Noel, a little boy in Mexico City, walked into a Coldplay concert with his Dad on April 16th excited to see them live and in person. What he and his Dad didn’t know is the tears of joy that MILLIONS of people around the entire WORLD would have to choke back after seeing Luis’s emotional reaction to his favorite song, “Fix You.”

The video went viral and has over 4 million views on YouTube. Even Chris Martin and Coldplay tweeted out and shared the video, with a message.

“This kind of thing makes it all worthwhile. Hola Luis y tu hijo hermoso! Love cgqj&p”

As National Autism Awareness comes to a close, this heartwarming story brought an unmeasurable amount of awareness to the reality that those with autism have their own feelings and emotions. Seeing the fatherly love for a son with a developmentally disability is uplifting to say the least. Luis Sr, the father in the video responded to Coldplay and all of the viewers on twitter, showing he cares about raising awareness of the number of people living with autism.

o-LUIS-VASQUEZ-900

Aspire of WNY is dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities, of all ages. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more inspiring stories from all over Buffalo and WNY!

 

7 Stars of “Bachelor Pad” Shine | Aspire of WNY Home Featured on Channel 4 & The Buffalo News

Three years ago, a group of friends took a major step and were able to live independently for the first time. The best part? They were able to move into their own place, all under one roof. Last week, the seven young men from Western New were the stars of a heartwarming story of friendship, togetherness, and freedom. You may have seen the video via WIVB Buffalo, or read about it in the Buffalo News.

David, Jared, Jeff, Patrick, Craig, William, & Michael have always been close. For years, their families’ hoped that they could get their own place, but with such a large amount of people on the New York State list, it was a pleasant surprise for everyone.

It was a winding journey for the families of the 7 bachelors, which started about seven years ago. Much like any other mid-to-upper 20’s guy, they each wanted to branch out and have their own life, but thoughts of isolation or lack of assistance is the fear for any parent of an individual with a developmental disability. After looking at over 20 properties, everything took a positive turn when they, along with Aspire, were able to meet with state developmental disability officials to seek approval of the “non-certified residence” on Main St. & Eggert Rd. 

With each of the guys all standing in each meeting to show state officials that this was their choice, the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities approved the budget, Aspire bought the house, and the bachelor pad was born.

‘Bachelor pad’ offers independence for seven men with Down syndrome | The Buffalo News

Today the “bachelor pad” offers the guys’ the freedom to live a fulfilling, independent life while providing peace of mind for their families. Despite the fact that each of the guys’ have down syndrome, this household isn’t much different than other male millennials,

“You walk in the house, a couple of guys will be sitting on the couch with their iPads, someone will be in his room listening to music, someone else doing laundry or playing board games,” said Fred Suchman, one of the staff members from ASPIRE of WNY. “It’s a normal house.” Buffalo News

Each of the housemates meet weekly to discuss chores, scheduling, and when the next Bills or Sabres game is on. They frequently watch the games together on their flat screen televisions, talk a little smack over a game of billiards, and they each have their own certain amount of money through their jobs and social security.

Jeffrey’s father had this to say about his son’s lifestyle.

“He’s so independent that he blows me off when I have a barbecue or something, he says, ‘Sorry, I’m busy, Dad.’ ”

Although the house is staffed 24 hours a day by Aspire, the guys live very independent lives. They all have their own jobs and six of them skate for SABAH, another organization that aims to enrich the lives of individuals challenged by physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities.  SABAH executive Director Sheila O’Brien told the News how the guys have matured since moving in together.

“I can see over the last two or three years, they take things more seriously and they watch out for each other more. They’ve grown up.”

Living together, living independently, living safely. The seven stars of the story don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

7 Stars of “Bachelor Pad” Shine | Aspire of WNY Home Featured on Channel 4 & The Buffalo News

Three years ago, a group of friends took a major step and were able to live independently for the first time. The best part? They were able to move into their own place, all under one roof. Last week, the seven young men from Western New were the stars of a heartwarming story of friendship, togetherness, and freedom. You may have seen the video via WIVB Buffalo, or read about it in the Buffalo News.

David, Jared, Jeff, Patrick, Craig, William, & Michael have always been close. For years, their families’ hoped that they could get their own place, but with such a large amount of people on the New York State list, it was a pleasant surprise for everyone.

It was a winding journey for the families of the 7 bachelors, which started about seven years ago. Much like any other mid-to-upper 20’s guy, they each wanted to branch out and have their own life, but thoughts of isolation or lack of assistance is the fear for any parent of an individual with a developmental disability. After looking at over 20 properties, everything took a positive turn when they, along with Aspire, were able to meet with state developmental disability officials to seek approval of the “non-certified residence” on Main St. & Eggert Rd. 

With each of the guys all standing in each meeting to show state officials that this was their choice, the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities approved the budget, Aspire bought the house, and the bachelor pad was born.

‘Bachelor pad’ offers independence for seven men with Down syndrome | The Buffalo News

Today the “bachelor pad” offers the guys’ the freedom to live a fulfilling, independent life while providing peace of mind for their families. Despite the fact that each of the guys’ have down syndrome, this household isn’t much different than other male millennials,

“You walk in the house, a couple of guys will be sitting on the couch with their iPads, someone will be in his room listening to music, someone else doing laundry or playing board games,” said Fred Suchman, one of the staff members from ASPIRE of WNY. “It’s a normal house.” Buffalo News

Each of the housemates meet weekly to discuss chores, scheduling, and when the next Bills or Sabres game is on. They frequently watch the games together on their flat screen televisions, talk a little smack over a game of billiards, and they each have their own certain amount of money through their jobs and social security.

Jeffrey’s father had this to say about his son’s lifestyle.

“He’s so independent that he blows me off when I have a barbecue or something, he says, ‘Sorry, I’m busy, Dad.’ ”

Although the house is staffed 24 hours a day by Aspire, the guys live very independent lives. They all have their own jobs and six of them skate for SABAH, another organization that aims to enrich the lives of individuals challenged by physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities.  SABAH executive Director Sheila O’Brien told the News how the guys have matured since moving in together.

“I can see over the last two or three years, they take things more seriously and they watch out for each other more. They’ve grown up.”

Living together, living independently, living safely. The seven stars of the story don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

March is Developmental Disabilities Month!

“Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of March 1987 as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. I invite all individuals, agencies, and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. I urge all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.”

 

28 years of raising awareness for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. This is the proclamation from President Reagan in 1987.

Aspire of WNY has been working for and alongside individuals with developmental disabilities around Buffalo since first creating the Cerebral Palsy Association of Western New York in 1947. In March of 2003, the organization became known as Aspire of Western New York.

Today we stand stronger than ever, serving individuals and families in Erie County, Niagara County, Chautauqua County, and Cattaraugus County. We celebrate the reality that those with disabilities not only possess the ability to be a functioning, constructive member of society, but deserve to.

We will continue to strive for the advancement and betterment of the lives of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities all over Western New York because that’s what we are here to do.

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